*Manufacturing growth in China expands. LONDON/ SYDNEY, July 30- Lead and zinc fell on Wednesday as investors took profits after a rally by both metals this month, but a brighter global economic outlook could see industrial metals resuming their rise. Part of that is driven by improving macro sentiment, "said commodity analyst Ivan Szpakowski of Citi in Shanghai.» Read More
The U.S. economy is continuing to show weakness in everything from personal spending and income to construction spending, according to several reports out Friday
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday a resurgence in financial strains in recent weeks had dimmed the outlook for the U.S. economy, signaling an openness to lowering interest rates again.
Euro zone inflation jumped more than expected in November to its highest in six and a half years and inflation expectations rose while economic sentiment worsened, highlighting the European Central Bank's rate dilemma.
German retail sales posted their steepest decline in October since a value-added tax increase sent them plunging at the start of the year, in a sign that consumers are increasingly worried about higher energy and food prices.
Higher energy and food prices saw Japan's core consumer prices record their first annual rise in 10 months in October, but the modest 0.1 percent gain only slightly boosted expectations of a rate hike early next year.
The dollar rallied against most major currencies Thursday, buoyed by demand from U.S. corporations seeking to square their books by the end of the month.
Softer-than-expected new-home sales and a surge in jobless claims heightened fears of a steep U.S. economic slide.
The White House lowered its U.S. economic growth forecast for 2008 Thursday because of trouble in the housing and credit markets, but said the economy remained resilient and a six-year expansion would continue
The U.S. economy grew at a robust 4.9% rate in the third quarter, but a surge in jobless claims last week signaled a major slowdown in the fourth quarter.
Australian business investment unexpectedly fell last quarter as the booming mining sector took a breather, though firms still upgraded already ambitious spending plans for coming months.
Japan's industrial production rose in October from September, signalling firm corporate activity and steady exports, but the data did little to alter views that the Bank of Japan will not raise interest rates until next year.
Bear Stearns is only the latest Wall Street firm to cut jobs. In recent months, U.S. banks and financial service companies with banking operations having been slashing tens of thousands of positions.
The Fed's No. 2 official signaled a willingness to cut interest rates further, saying renewed financial market turmoil could slow the economy more than thought.
The economy grew at a slower pace in the late fall as shoppers watched their pennies heading into the busy holiday season.
The economy may avoid a recession in the year ahead but it's almost certain that there will be months of slow growth.
The dollar rallied to one-week highs against the euro, the yen and the Swiss franc Wednesday with investors betting the U.S. currency's recent slump to multiyear lows had gone too far.
New orders for long-lasting U.S.-made manufactured goods dropped for a third month in a row during October and companies appeared wary about making new investments, according to a Commerce Department report on Wednesday.
Consumer confidence in Germany fell for the fourth consecutive month despite the end-of-the-year holiday season, driven by fears surrounding the strong euro and high prices, according to a survey released Wednesday.
U.S. consumer confidence fell unexpectedly sharply in November to a two-year low on worries about rising gas prices and financial market volatility.
Goldman Sachs on Tuesday slashed its target for the expected trough in U.S. benchmark interest rates by a full percentage point, citing an increased probability of recession and the likelihood of a prolonged period of sluggish performance for the U.S. economy.