Friday, 20 December 2013

US leading index rises, existing home sales fall

The Federal Reserve's decision to taper its bond purchases on Wednesday gained further support from data from the Conference Board on Thursday showing that the latter's index of US leading economic indicators rose 0.8 percent in November, indicating that the US economy is likely to continue growing.

However, other data from the US on Thursday showed that existing home sales fell 4.3 percent in November and initial claims for unemployment benefits rose 10,000 to 379,000 last week, the most since the end of March.

US stocks were little changed on Thursday. The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent but the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent.

Elsewhere, a report on Thursday showed that UK retail sales rose 0.3 percent in November after having fallen 0.9 percent in October. However, a survey from GfK showed that its UK consumer confidence index fell to -13 in December from -12 in November.

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