Thursday, 13 January 2011

Portugal clears hurdle

Europe breathes again after Portugal successfully sold bonds on Wednesday. Bloomberg reports:

Portugal’s borrowing costs fell and demand rose at a sale of 10-year bonds after European Central Bank debt purchases this week helped push down yields, sending the securities higher in the secondary market.

The nation sold 599 million euros ($778 million) of bonds due in 2020 at a yield of 6.716 percent, the Portuguese debt management agency said today. That compares with 6.806 percent at the previous auction on Nov. 10.

In another positive news for Europe, Bloomberg reports that industrial production rose more than forecast in November.

European industrial production advanced more than economists forecast in November, led by output of intermediate goods such as car engines and steel.

Production in the euro area rose 1.2 percent from October, when it increased 0.7 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.5 percent, the median of 31 estimates in a Bloomberg survey showed. Production increased 7.4 percent in the year.

The news from the US on Wednesday was also positive. Again from Bloomberg:

The Federal Reserve said holiday- season spending and increased manufacturing drove an economic expansion across the U.S. in November and December, with businesses cautiously optimistic about their 2011 outlooks.

Six Fed regions including Atlanta and Chicago showed economies growing “modestly to moderately,” and four areas including New York and Boston had “improving” conditions, the Fed said today in its anecdotal Beige Book report. The Minneapolis region “continued its moderate recovery,” and San Francisco “firmed further,” the central bank said.

Even Japan has been showing signs that its recovery is resuming. Although Japan's current account shrank in November, the economy watchers survey for December showed improvements for both current and future conditions, as did the coincident and leading indices for November.

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