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Australian businesses were busy borrowing in September despite interest rates at decade highs, while a jump in approvals to build new homes provided a tentative sign of a recovery in housing construction.
Credit crankiness hangs around the stock market as the Fed winds up its rate meeting Wednesday. Investors are counting on a rate cut, and without one, the market could see some significant selling.
Oil fell more than $3 from its record high in a broad commodity sell-off sparked by uncertainty over how aggressive the U.S. Federal Reserve will be with further interest rate cuts.
Fed policy-makers began meeting as financial markets continued to bet that the central bank will cut interest rates to shore up the faltering housing and credit markets.
The dollar fell to a record low against the euro for the third consecutive session on Tuesday, a day ahead of the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting at which an interest rate cut is expected.
A decidedly negative tone has replaced Monday's complacency as the Fed starts its two-day meeting today. A Wall Street Journal article detailing why a rate cut isn't a sure thing has put traders on edge and cast doubt about the cut to the Fed funds rate that most of them think is a "sure thing."
U.S. consumer confidence declined for the third month in a row in October to its lowest level in two years on growing concerns about weakening business conditions and the impact that could have on the job market.
The number of jobless in Germany dipped below 3.5 million in October, a 12-year low as companies increasingly hired workers to meet demand for orders from toys to tires.
The United States is strongly committed to a strong U.S. dollar and financial markets there are recovering from the subprime loan crisis even if the housing market has yet to touch bottom, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Tuesday.
Asian markets closed mostly lower Tuesday, with Japan, South Korea and Australia ending down as investors held back ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting that is expected to cut interest rates.
The Federal Reserve is expected to lower interest rates again this week as insurance against the threat that declining home prices and higher borrowing costs will push the economy into recession.
A Federal Reserve interest rate cut this week is no sure thing and officials are not seriously considering a half-point reduction in overnight rates, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday without citing sources.
China must continue to liberalize its exchange rate regime and key areas of the economy to ward off overheating but should be cautious about opening strategic sectors to foreign investment, a top official said on Tuesday.
Unemployment in Japan rose to 4.0 percent last month, reinforcing expectations the Bank of Japan will delay its next rate rise, but household spending jumped.
Oil prices have been climbing for nearly two weeks straight, breaking new records almost daily. Friday's been no different with U.S. crude oil futures breaching the $90 a barrel level during the Asian morning session.
Oil closed at a record $93.53 a barrel on Monday as investors bet on another U.S. interest rate cut, the dollar struck new lows and Mexico briefly halted one-fifth of its oil production.
The volatility in the stock market due to concerns on a slower economy and credit market risk is creating one clear winner: exchanges. We are seeing new highs for Nasdaq and are just off new highs on the Chicago Merc and Intercontinental Exchange; the New York Stock Exchange has gone from $70 to $90 (up 28%) in less than 2 months.
U.S. oil surged to a nominal all-time high of $93.20 a barrel on Monday, boosting the annual average price to $67.99.
The dollar sank to another record against the euro on Monday, trading at as much as $1.44 against the 13-nation currency for the first time, as markets anticipated a likely interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve this week.
The subprime fall-out continues to claim more victims. Merrill's came as a blow - and in what is now becoming predictable for financial companies trying to get ahead of the news agenda - UBS rushed out 24hrs early the bad news on exposure and trading outlook.