US economic reports on Thursday were quite positive for a change. Reuters reports:
The chances of the U.S. economy averting a new recession got a boost on Thursday with claims for jobless benefits falling to a five-month low last week and growth a touch stronger in the second quarter than previously estimated.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 37,000 to 391,000 last week while second quarter GDP growth was revised to an annual rate of 1.3 percent from 1.0 percent, with consumer spending and export growth turning out stronger than earlier estimated.
Housing remains a weak spot in the US economy though as pending home sales fell 1.2 percent in August.
There was better news from manufacturing, however, as the Kansas City Fed's manufacturing activity index rose to 6 in September from 3 in August.
The economic reports elsewhere were not as good though.
In Japan, retail sales fell 2.6 percent in August from a year ago, its first annual decline in three months. Compared to July, retail sales fell 1.7 percent in August.
In the euro area, the economic sentiment indicator fell 3.4 points in both the EU and the euro area to 94.0 and 95.0 respectively.
The good news for Europe, though, was that Germany's Bundestag approved the strengthening of the European Financial Stability Facility. That helped push Greece's two-year yield down 453 basis points to 65.24 percent on Thursday.