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Spain today raised €5.7bn on the
debt market at improved rates compared with previous auctions. Meanwhile, Fitch,
the third biggest ratings agency, reaffirmed its triple-A US rating on federal
debt and the Federal Reserve reported that US industrial production rose in
Spain sold €5.7bn worth of bonds on Tuesday - - its biggest sale in six months -
- €4.15bn was raised from sales of 12-month bonds at an average yield of
3.335%, compared with 3.702% last month. It also sold 18-month bonds at an
average 3.592%, down from 3.912%.
The bid-to-cover ratio, an indication of the strength of demand, fell in both
cases. Nevertheless, it was a positive development after the European Central
Bank last week bought €22bn of government bonds issued by Spain and Italy
following rises in the yield on benchmark 10-year bonds to euro-era records
above 6%. The yields subsequently fell to about 5% after ECB buying.
Fitch today reaffirmed the US’s
triple-A credit rating, after rival S&P had downgraded US debt on Aug 5.
The Fed reported today that US
industrial production advanced 0.9% in July.
Although the index was revised down
in April, primarily as a result of a downward revision to the output of
utilities, stronger manufacturing output led to upward revisions to production
in both May and June. Manufacturing output rose 0.6% in July, as the index for
motor vehicles and parts jumped 5.2% and production elsewhere moved up 0.3%, as
supply strains triggered by the March 11th Japanese earthquake, eased.
The output of mines advanced 1.1%,
and the output of utilities increased 2.8%, as the extreme heat during the month
boosted air conditioning usage. At 94.2% of its 2007 average, total industrial
production for July was 3.7%age points above its year-earlier level.
The capacity utilization rate for
total industry climbed to 77.5%, a rate 2.2 percentage points above the rate
from a year earlier but 2.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972--2010)
In other US news, the Commerce
Department reported that
privately-owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 604,000. This is 1.5% below the revised June estimate of 613,000, but is 9.8%
above the July 2010 rate of 550,000.
Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 425,000; this is 4.9%
below the revised June figure of 447,000. The July rate for units in
buildings with five units or more was 170,000.
Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 425,000;
this is 4.9% below the revised June figure of 447,000.