Inconclusive data in the United States has given few clues as to when the Federal Reserve might bring its policy of easy money to an end, while markets are still waiting for the European Central Bank to come to the euro zone's rescue again with more than just another interest rate cut.» Read More
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Monday defended the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency and said its recent decline was only a small factor behind a surge in oil prices.
Australian retail sales suffered a surprise fall in April as consumers cut spending on food and recreation in the face of surging living costs, but also perhaps lessening the need for a further increase in interest rates.
Indonesia cannot rule out further hikes in fuel prices ahead of the 2009 presidential elections, Energy Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said on Sunday, due to the impact of fuel subsidies on the budget.
Malaysia's plan for a showpiece economic zone in its south is in doubt because of the uncertain fate of the country's prime minister and a lukewarm response from big investors in nearby Singapore.
The European Central Bank turned 10 years old on June 1 and the euro's rise against the dollar seems to be proof of its success. But criticism from some of the euro-zone members that the strength of the single currency stifles growth by putting a lid on exports may cast a shadow over the party.
China's manufacturing sector slowed last month for the first time since January as export orders and domestic investment both weakened, an official survey showed on Sunday.
If the jobs report and other data confirm the past week's decent numbers and if oil doesn't throw a wrench in the works, stocks could start June on a strong note.
Following my blog earlier this week asking you to tell me who is to blame for GM's problems, I received the following e-mail from the automaker. Give it a read and let me know what you think.
For the week ending Friday, May 30, 2008, the markets finished up, with all major indices increasing ~1.3% or higher for the week. Only the Dow declined for the month, shedding 1.42%. The NASDAQ reached its third consecutive monthly gain , up 4.55% for the month. The markets were encouraged by better than expected earnings from retailers and strong results from Dell. U.S. GDP for 1Q also helped lift stocks up, as it rose 0.9% at an annual rate , better than the previous estimate. Crude Oil also retreated to lower levels.
Oil prices rose to more than $127 a barrel on Friday as a drop in the dollar drew in investors seeking to hedge against the weaker greenback.
The Fed probably will stay in a holding pattern, with little incentive between now and the November presidential election to move rates either way, analysts say.
With the U.S. economy narrowly avoiding recession and inflation concerns rising, the dollar should advance further next week, though any sign of new job losses will dull its appeal and derail a sustained recovery.
The dollar fell to session lows versus the euro and traded flat against the yen as investors took profits ahead of the weekend after recent strong gains in the U.S. currency, traders said.
European shares extended gains in afternoon trade on Friday after U.S. core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) data met analysts' expectations.
Many Americans allowed themselves to fantasize about large-screen TVs, European vacations and other luxuries when they learned of the federal rebates they'd be getting this spring and early summer.
Global food prices could rise further in the short term and keep rising over the longer term as supplies are unlikely to match increased demand, a European Central Bank note said.
U.S. personal spending rose by 0.2 percent in April as forecast and a key measure of inflation moderated, government data on Friday showed.
Would you believe it? It's already 10 years, since Riverdance power-danced the new bank for Europe through its inauguration at Frankfurt's venerated old opera, with great fanfare, festive speeches and "Ode to Joy", Europe's national anthem.
On the verge of the European Central Bank's 10th anniversary, the news on inflation doesn't look good. Against the bank's target of "below but close to" 2 percent, euro-zone prices rose 3.6 percent in May, compared with the year ago, back to a historic high, data showed on Friday.
Asian markets edged up Friday, led by exporters in Japan, as fears of a deep U.S. recession receded, but gains were capped by worries that inflation will cut into growth and lead to higher borrowing costs.