Daily Market Update – January 23, 2013
- A measure to extend the U.S. debt limit for nearly four months moved closer on Jan 22 to a vote and the White House said the president would sign the bill if it cleared Congress, easing uncertainty that could have threatened the U.S. economy. The debt limit "suspension," which would allow the government to borrow money until May 19, is due to come to a vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives without amendments. House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions said he believed the measure would achieve "near unanimous support" from the House Republican caucus, which would guarantee its passage. President Barack Obama "would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has similarly expressed approval
- Sales of U.S. existing homes unexpectedly fell in Dec as supply shrank, underscoring the hurdles for an industry seeking to strengthen its recovery even as it completed its best year since 2007. Purchases fell 1% to a 4.94M annual rate last month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed. The reading was still the second-highest since Nov 2009. The forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a gain to a 5.1M rate
- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi suggested the worst of the sovereign debt crisis may be over, saying the "darkest clouds' over the euro area have receded due to decisive policy steps last year. "We can begin 2013 on a more confident note, precisely because significant progress was made during 2012," Draghi said. "The darkest clouds over the euro area subsided. Europe's leaders recognized that monetary union needs to be complemented by a financial union, a fiscal union, a genuine economic union and eventually a deeper political union"
- An indicator of China's economic activity slowed in Dec, a report from the Conference Board showed. The leading economic indicator increased 0.4% in Dec to 251.1, following a 1.1% increase in Nov and a 1.6% increase in Oct. "A decline in real estate activity, a drop in new export orders, and weak consumer confidence accounted for the slowing," said Andrew Polk, an economist at the Conference Board's Beijing center