Saturday, 29 October 2011

Italian bond yields rise, Spanish unemployment hits 15-year high

Europe's debt problem remained in the limelight on Friday after a disappointing debt auction by Italy. Reuters reports:

Italian government bond yields extended their rise on Friday after a disappointing debt auction suggested a euro zone rescue deal had not gone far enough to restore investor appetite for Italian debt.

Italy's sale of 7.94 billion euros of government bonds met lower demand than at previous auctions and the country paid the highest premium since joining the single currency to sell 10-year debt.

Bond yields were also up in Spain, which reported on Friday that its unemployment rate had risen to 21.5 percent in the third quarter, the highest in 15 years.

However, while Europe's debt problem is weighing down its economic outlook, reports on Friday suggest that other economies are performing somewhat better.

In the US, consumer spending rose 0.6 percent in September despite income rising just 0.1 percent. And consumer sentiment improved in October for the second month in a row, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rising to 60.9 from 59.4 in September.

Consumer spending also improved in Japan in September. While household spending fell 1.9 percent from a year earlier, it was up 0.9 percent from August.

Japan's industrial production fell 4.0 percent in September. However, industrial production is expected to rise 2.3 percent in October and 1.8 percent in November.

Other data from Japan showed that the jobless rate fell to 4.1 percent in September from 4.3 percent in August while core consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in September from a year earlier.

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