By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sales of new U.S. single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight months in March, dealing a setback to the housing market recovery. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales dropped 14.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units, declining for a second consecutive month. The housing market has been slammed by an unusually cold and snowy winter, higher mortgage interest rates and a shortage of properties that is limiting options for potential buyers. Data on Tuesday showing a mild decline in home resales last month had offered hope the housing market could be stabilizing.
Archive for the ‘Business News’ Category
Divers have found no air pockets where passengers might have taken refuge. They have, however, retrieved more bodies. The number of confirmed deaths has topped 150. An equal number remain missing.
As Western leaders craft another round of sanctions to counter the Russian president’s moves in Crimea, they might do well to consult a grandmaster at chess — Russia’s national pastime.
By Wayne Cole and Vidya Ranganathan SYDNEY/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Asian stock markets were little moved on Wednesday after a Chinese manufacturing survey met expectations, but the Australian dollar plunged to a two-week low after data showed surprisingly low inflation in that country's economy. Investors hoping that the Chinese HSBC manufacturing PMI data for April would show some stabilization in the slowing economy were relieved when the survey came in at 48.3, still in contractionary territory but slightly above the March number. Asian shares barely reacted to that data although China's stock markets, both the Shanghai Composite Index and the China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong, were about a quarter of a percent weaker. The Aussie fell after data showing Australian consumer price inflation was a surprisingly low 0.6 percent last quarter.
By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares crept higher on Wednesday following merger-driven gains in Europe and on Wall Street, though investors were wary in case coming figures on Chinese manufacturing again disappointed. Japan's Nikkei put on 0.9 percent while Australia's main index edged up 0.2 percent. The better mood owed much to Wall Street where the Dow rose 0.4 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.41 percent and the Nasdaq 0.97 percent. In Asia, the focus will be on the flash HSBC manufacturing PMI for China in April, which offers one of the earliest glimpses of activity for the month.
Britain’s top companies have been warned to exercise caution on executive pay by Vince Cable as they prepare to set next year’s awards.
BBC News – Business
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as a host of solid earnings reports, along with strength in the healthcare sector, helped lift the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to their sixth straight advance. Netflix Inc surged 7 percent to $ 372.90 a day after showing strong subscriber growth, a sign the trading favorite still had room to grow despite recent concerns over its valuation. Allergan Inc jumped 15.2 percent to $ 163.65 a day after activist investor William Ackman teamed up with Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc to bid for the company. Also providing support to the sector was a deal between Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline , in which the two traded over $ 20 billion worth of assets in an effort to cope with healthcare spending cuts and generic competition.