Mena News

 

  US current account trade deficit drops to $98.9 bln in spring quarter, lowest since 2009
Sep , 23 , 2013  
  The U.S. current account trade deficit narrowed in the April-June quarter to the lowest level in nearly three years, according to Foxnews. The Commerce Department says the current account deficit fell to $98.9 billion in the second quarter, a drop of 5.7 percent from the first quarter deficit of $104.9 billion. The spring deficit was the lowest since a $93.8 billion imbalance in the third quarter of 2009, a period when the Great Recession had cut into demand for foreign goods. The current account is the country's broadest measure of trade. It tracks not only the sale of goods and services but also investment flows. The improvement in the second quarter represented a drop in the deficit for goods and increases in the surpluses on services and investment income.
 

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  U.S. stocks hit record high on Fed statement before data
Sep , 23 , 2013  
  U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to another record, after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly refrained from cutting monetary stimulus and investors awaited data on home sales and leading indicators, according to Bloomberg. The S&P 500 advanced 0.2 percent to 1,729.13 at 9:32 a.m. in New York. “The Bernanke put is back,” said Keith Wade, who helps oversee $388 billion as chief economist at Schroders Plc in London, referring to the Fed’s policy of supporting financial markets through monetary policy, which some investors liken to the insurance against losses offered by owning a put option. “Risk assets will enjoy the ride.” The benchmark index climbed 1.2 percent to a record yesterday as the Fed unexpectedly refrained from reducing bond buying. Treasury yields have jumped since May, when Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke first outlined a possible timetable for a reduction in asset purchases. The Federal Open Market Committee said it wants more evidence of an economic recovery before paring its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program, surprising economists who predicted a reduction in the plan. The Fed has held the main interest rate near zero since December 2008 and pushed its balance sheet to a record $3.66 trillion through three rounds of stimulus, helping send the S&P 500 155 percent higher since March 2009.
 

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  US home sales reached 6½ year high in August
Sep , 23 , 2013  
  U.S. home sales rose last month to the highest level since February 2007 as buyers rushed to close deals before interest rates rise further, according to ABC News. The National Association of Realtors says sales of previously-occupied homes rose 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in August. That level is consistent with a healthy market. August sales reflect contracts signed in June and July, when mortgage rates were rising steadily. The Realtors' group cautioned that buyer traffic dropped off significantly in August. That means sales could slow in the months ahead. The Realtors forecast that sales will average 5.2 million in 2014. Home prices rose as the supply of available homes remained tight. There were 2.25 million homes for sale last month, down 6 percent from a year earlier.
 

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  Mobily plans SAR22bn investment
Sep , 19 , 2013  
  Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), the second largest mobile service provider in the Kingdom, plans to invest SAR22bn in the next five years to enhance products and services.
 

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  US housing starts rise less than expected
Sep , 19 , 2013  
  Housing starts in the US rose 0.9% YoY to 891,000 in August from 883,000 (revised) in July. The market was expecting a rise to 915,000 from the originally reported figure of 896,000 for July.
 

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  US Federal Reserve maintains QE program at USD85bn
Sep , 19 , 2013  
  The US Federal Reserve decided to retain the pace of its QE program at USD85bn per month. In contrast, the market was expecting a reduction of USD10bn to USD75bn per month.
 

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  Qatar plans 2% of total power output from renewables by 2020
Sep , 19 , 2013  
  Qatar plans to generate 2% of its total power output from renewable sources by 2020. This presents the country an opportunity to explore low-carbon energy sources, meet additional demand and reduce emissions.
 

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  C.bank accepts bids for EGP 3bln treasury bonds; yields fall
Sep , 17 , 2013  
  The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said it accepted bids worth EGP 1.5 billion ($217.6 million) for the five-year bonds and EGP 1.5 billion for the 10-year bonds in an auction today, the entire amount it had offered. The average yield on five-year bonds dropped to 11.715 percent from 14.63 percent at the last auction on Sept. 2, while the yield on 10-year bonds slid to 14.398 percent from 15.96 percent. This fall in yields was ascribed to expectations that CBE would cut its overnight interest rates at a monetary policy meeting on Sept. 19.
 

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  Fitch says Saudi Arabia has potential for rating upgrade
Sep , 17 , 2013  
  Saudi Arabia has the potential for a ratings upgrade during the next 18 months, a senior executive at Fitch told Al Arabiya. The nation is currently rated ‘AA-’, but further labor-market reforms and diversification of the economy could prompt an upgrade, the credit-ratings agency said. There is “some potential” for such a move over the next 18 months, said Tony Stringer, the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Global Sovereigns and Supranationals at Fitch Ratings. Credit ratings are used by investors to assess the risk of a particular market, and a better rating can lead to stronger economic growth. Fitch last week affirmed Saudi Arabia’s rating at ‘AA-’, saying there was a positive outlook due to factors such as double-digit current account surpluses. The agency said in March that the country could see an upgrade, a point reaffirmed by Stringer. Stringer was talking to Carina Kamel, Al Arabiya TV’s Senior Correspondent and Presenter based in London, according to Al Arabiya .
 

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  KSE benchmark index likely to continue towards next resistance levels 7800 then 8000
Sep , 17 , 2013  
  In its comment on Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) trading yesterday, Mubasher Trade stated that the benchmark index continued rising, closing at 7788 points, and is still expected to continue towards next resistance levels 7800 pts then 8000 pts.
 

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