Friday, 19 September 2014

Stocks rise, US housing starts fall

Stocks rose on Thursday. The S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent to hit a new record high. The STOXX Europe 600 rose 1.0 percent.

US stocks rose despite a report on Thursday showing that housing starts fell 14.4 percent in August. The decline came after starts had hit a 1.12-million unit rate in July, the highest since November 2007.

Building permits fell 5.6 percent in August.

China's housing market is also looking weak. A report on Thursday showed that average new home prices across China fell 1.1 percent in August, with prices falling in 68 of the 70 major cities monitored, up from 64 cities in July.

In Japan, a report on Thursday showed that exports fell 1.3 percent in August from a year ago. Imports fell 1.5 percent.

Nevertheless, the trade balance remained in deficit for the 26th consecutive month despite a falling yen, possibly an indication of why three quarters of Japanese firms now prefer a stronger yen.

Meanwhile, though, there were positive data on the UK economy. A report on Thursday showed that UK retail sales rose 0.4 percent in August, driven by strong sales of furniture and a rush to buy high-powered vacuum cleaners ahead of a European Union ban.

No comments:

Post a comment