Friday, 19 April 2013

US leading index falls, China home prices rise

US data on Thursday indicate that the economy may be slowing. The Conference Board's index of US leading indicators fell 0.1 percent in March. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s manufacturing index fell to 1.3 in April from 2.0 in March.

Meanwhile, in the UK, cold weather contributed to a 0.7 percent fall in retail sales in March. That left first quarter retail sales just 0.4 percent higher than the previous quarter.

However, in China, foreign direct investment rose 5.7 percent in March from a year earlier and new home prices rose 1.2 percent in March as 68 of 70 major cities monitored by the government saw price increases, up from 66 in February.

Europe also had good news. Spain’s bonds rose on Thursday, its 10-year yield falling two basis points to 4.66 percent after the government sold 10-year debt at the lowest yield since September.

However, Italy's 10-year yield rose one basis point to 4.26 percent on Thursday as two rounds of voting failed to break a deadlock on the selection of the country's next president.

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