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News : International Last Updated: May 5, 2010 - 9:18:41 AM


Markets News Afternoon: Shares in sharp slide in Europe and the US; UK manufacturing output growth rate in April highest since 1994
By Finfacts Team
May 4, 2010 - 5:29:45 PM

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Source: Markit

The UK manufacturing sector reported a strong start to the second quarter. At 58.0 in April, from an upwardly revised figure of 57.3 in March, the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to its highest level since September 1994. The PMI has signalled an improvement in operating conditions in each of the past seven months.

Manufacturing production increased for the eleventh month running in April, with the rate of expansion only slightly below March's fifteen-and-a-half year high. Underpinning the latest rise in output was the sharpest growth in total new business since January 2004 and a series record increase in new export orders. The forward-looking new orders to inventories ratio also stayed at an elevated level, suggesting production will continue to rise at a rapid pace in coming months.

Higher levels of total new work reflected improved global market conditions, client restocking, and successful product promotions. Increased overseas sales were particularly commonly reported from customers in China, mainland Europe, the Middle East, North America and Scandinavia, in many cases aided by the ongoing weakness of the sterling exchange rate.

US markets

On Tuesday, the Dow has slid 220 points or 1.97% to 10,932.

The S&P 500 has dipped 2.21% and the Nasdaq Composite has dived 2.96%.

New orders for US manufactured goods in March, up eleven of the last twelve months, increased $5.0bn or 1.3% to $391.5bn, the US Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 1.3% February increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 3.1%.

Pending home sales increased again in March, affirming that a surge of home sales is unfolding for the spring home buying season, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in March, rose 5.3% to 102.9 from 97.7 in February, and is 21.1% above March 2009 when it was 85.0; this follows an 8.3% increase in February. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said favorable affordability conditions have been working with a tax credit. “Clearly the home buyer tax credit has helped stabilize the market. In the months immediately following the expiration of the tax credit, we expect measurably lower sales,” he said. “Later in the second half of the year, and into 2011, home sales will likely become self-sustaining if the economy can add jobs at a respectable pace, and from a return of buyer demand as they see home values stabilizing.”

Live US indices

A look at existing technology that can be used to clean up some of the Gulf Coast oil spill, with Michael Bruno, dean of the Stevens Institute of Technology:

In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has dipped 2.84% Tuesday.

European stocks erased their 2010 gain as equities - - the Stoxx 600 Index is down 0.3% in 2010 - - around the world tumbled, while the euro slid to a one-year low, amid worries that the sovereign debt crisis is spreading. Commodities and shares of their producers fell a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing.

The FTSE 100 is down 2.56%; the Dax has slid 2.60% in Frankfurt and the CAC40 has plunged 3.64% in Paris.

In Athens, the Athex Composite is off 6.68%.

In Dublin, the ISEQ has slipped 3.55%.

CRH has dipped 5.28%; Elan has declined 2.94%; AIB is off 5.57%; BoI is down 7.435 and Aer Lingus has dropped 5.48%.

The Senate is set to begin debate on financial regulatory reform this week. Rusty Cloutier, CEO of MidSouth Bank, and John Koelmel, CEO of First Niagara Bank, share their insight:

European Benchmarks

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Rates

Oil

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil for June 2010 delivery is trading at $83.19 down $3.00 from Monday's close. In London, Brent crudefor June delivery is trading at $86.21 a barrel.

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.3024 and at £0.8614.

For live currency updates, check the right-hand column of the Finfacts home page.The dollar traded at a record low $1.6038 per euro on July 15, 2008.

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