Markets react positively to US and European central bank actions
After yesterday’s announcement by the Fed that it is sticking to the policy of not raising interest rates for a considerable time, Thursday has brought some more good news to the markets. The European Central Bank has this morning made $106 billion in cheap loans available to the region’s banks to increase lending for the non-financial sectors. There is also a change in the voting procedure for its general council which analysts say could allow quantitative easing to be introduced next spring. European markets have reacted well to the news although the London stock exchange was dragging in early trading due to today’s Scottish independence vote. Asian markets have closed mostly higher, boosted by the Fed announcement but there was some caution over Scotland and the possible weakening of the pound and the UK economy if the nation votes to leave the union. US stock market futures up trending higher. Gold has stabilised after some recent declines and oil is down slightly.
US weekly jobless claims data at 8.30am ET
Scottish independence vote closes at 5.00pm ET with results expected by early Friday.
Rite Aid report earnings pre-market and Oracle post their report after the closing bell.
US homebuilders confidence soars
Confidence by homebuilders has increased this month to its highest level for nine years with optimistic forecasts for new single-family homes. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index increased for the fourth consecutive month with expectation of sales increases in the next six months, boosting both the sector and the wider economy. Despite a steady slowdown of new home sales this year, figures are higher than a year ago and with the Fed’s latest announcement quelling fears of early interest rate rises and jobs data showing improvement, the market is expected to pick up pace. Read the full story.
Amazon reveals new products
There’s a lot happening in the world of tech; Apple’s recent launches, the Alibaba IPO, Sony’s flagging smartphone business and now Amazon has announced new products as it hopes to push against the dominance of Apple and Google. Amazon’s product launch yesterday saw seven new Kindle devices, updating the company’s existing product lines in time for the huge Christmas market. Among the new releases are versions for kids with a two-year replacement guarantee for broken screens and tougher toddler-defying casing. Many of the new devices use Amazon’s new operating system, based on Android, which also features on its recently launched smartphone. Read the full story.