Friday, 31 July 2009

Japanese industrial production increases, eurozone confidence rises

Thursday brought more positive news on the economic front.

Japanese industrial production expanded again in June. Bloomberg reports:

Japanese manufacturers increased production for a fourth month in June, capping the fastest quarterly output expansion in more than half a century and helping the economy rebound from its deepest postwar recession.

Production rose 2.4 percent from May, the Trade Ministry said today in Tokyo. Output gained 8.3 percent last quarter from the first three months of 2009, the most since 1953...

Manufacturers planned to boost output 1.6 percent in July and 3.3 percent in August, today’s report showed. The ministry said production is “on a recovery trend” after last month describing it as “showing signs of recovery.”

Meanwhile, confidence in the euro area is rising. Again from Bloomberg:

An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 16 nations that use the euro rose to 76, the highest since November, from 73.2 in June, the European Commission in Brussels said today...

However, recovery in the region is likely to be slow.

The euro region will experience a “modest recovery” next year, the International Monetary Fund said in a report today. The Washington-based lender with 185 member nations sees the 16- nation economy shrinking 0.3 percent in 2010 after a 4.8 percent contraction this year.

In the US, initial jobless claims rose last week but investors are now focussed on an expected recovery. From Bloomberg:

U.S. stocks rose and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index approached a nine-month high as companies from Motorola Inc. to MasterCard Inc. posted better-than-estimated results and jobless claims held below June levels. Treasuries gained on a better-than-forecast auction of seven-year notes...

The S&P 500 added 1.2 percent to 986.75 at 4:08 p.m. in New York, the highest close since Nov. 4. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 83.74 points, or 0.9 percent, to 9,154.46. European and Asian stocks gained, pushing the MSCI World Index up 1.5 percent. Brazil’s Bovespa jumped 1.4 percent.

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