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S’pore, US among top destinations for rich Chinese migrants – The Straits Times 4 Nov 11

About 60 percent of the rich Chinese people, each of whom has a net asset of at least 60 million yuan (S$12.12 million), said they intended to migrate from China, a report has found. About 14 per cent of them have either already migrated from China or have applied for migration. The three most favoured […]

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Behind latest Fed rate cut, inflation fears loom

The Straits Times – March 20, 2008 WASHINGTON – THE United States central bank cut interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point to 2.25 per cent, less than widely expected but more than what some of its policymakers were comfortable with. Two of the 10 voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee opposed […]

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Wild swing reflects fears of US slowdown

Business Times – 12 Mar 2008 SHORT-COVERING and a late afternoon rebound on Nasdaq futures saw the Singapore market’s benchmark index chalking a remarkable 80-point turnaround in intra-day trading, first plunging to a new 16-month low, then rebounding to close in positive territory. Also boosting the market are expectations that the Federal Reserve may intervene […]

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US employers cut 63,000 jobs in February

Payroll data indicate that probability of recession is more than 50 per cent (WASHINGTON) US employers cut payrolls for a second straight month during February, slashing 63,000 jobs for the biggest monthly decline in nearly five years as the nation’s labour markets weakened steadily, a government report yesterday showed. The Labor Department said that last […]

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US household wealth falls for first time in five years

WASHINGTON – HOUSEHOLD wealth in the United States fell in the fourth quarter for the first time in five years, while borrowing slowed as home values plunged and lenders restricted credit, Federal Reserve figures have shown. Net worth for households decreased by US$532.9 billion (S$739.5 billion) from the previous three months, the first decline since […]

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US reports surprise loss of 63,000 jobs

Biggest drop in five years another sign that economy is on the decline WASHINGTON – THE United States unexpectedly lost jobs last month for the second consecutive month, adding to evidence that the economy is in a recession. Payrolls fell by 63,000, the most in five years, after a revised decline of 22,000 in January, […]

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Growth slows in 8 of 12 regions in US: survey

Beige Book cites weak retail sales, slow manufacturing and housing woes (NEW YORK) The Federal Reserve says economic growth has slowed in eight of 12 US regions since the start of the year, hurt by faltering retail sales, manufacturing and a continued decline in housing. ‘Two-thirds of the districts cited softening or weakening in the […]

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Big US banks poised to fall further, says investment guru

Fed ‘making same errors’ Japan made trying to bail out everyone in 1990s FINANCIAL guru Jim Rogers painted a doom-and-gloom picture of the United States economy yesterday and predicted that Singapore’s two investment companies would lose money on their recent investments in beleaguered banking giants. Singapore-based Mr Rogers said investing billions of dollars in banks […]

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US regulators look for signs of credit crisis spreading

They are keeping a keen eye on credit card, home equity and building loans WASHINGTON – UNITED States regulators are watching credit card and commercial construction loans for signs that they may be the next trouble spots as strained financial markets constrain credit. The housing downturn, with its epicentre in the sub- prime mortgage market, […]

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Time to plan for the recovery that’s lying around the corner

(NEW YORK) Say the economy has fallen into recession, as so many people on and off Wall Street think. Is it time to bail out of stocks? Selling may be the reflexive response by shareholders who have watched the value of their assets decline in step with economic indicators, but investment advisers contend that they […]

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US economy already in recession: Buffett

He sees slowdown across the board; withdraws offer to guarantee bonds NEW YORK – BILLIONAIRE investor Warren Buffett said the United States economy is in a recession and that stocks are ‘not cheap’ despite recent declines. He also said he is no longer offering to guarantee US$800 billion (S$1.12 trillion) of municipal bonds backed by […]

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Bernanke urges banks to forgive part of mortgages

ORLANDO – FEDERAL Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, battling the worst United States housing recession in a quarter century, has urged lenders to forgive portions of mortgages for more borrowers whose home values have declined. ‘Efforts by both government and private sector entities to reduce unnecessary foreclosures are helping, but more can, and should, be done,’ […]

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Buffett retracts US$800b bond guarantee offer

Separately, he says US economy is in recession, stocks are not cheap (NEW YORK) Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said yesterday that the US economy is in recession and that stocks are not cheap, despite recent declines. Speaking on CNBC television, Mr Buffett also said that he is no longer offering to guarantee US$800 billion of […]

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Sub-prime, debt still top US economic threat: poll

Inflation jitters a distant 3rd; terrorism fears down the list (WASHINGTON) The combined punch of sub-prime mortgage defaults and heavy debt remains the biggest risk to the health of the US economy, a panel of business economists said yesterday. ‘NABE members are increasingly concerned over the short-term risks associated with sub-prime mortgages and other forms […]

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If the US goes into a recession…

How will a US slowdown or recession affect your organisation and industry, and the Singapore economy in general? What can businesses do in the event of a slowdown? THE US recession had already started since December 2007. I predict that the federal funds rate will drop to one per cent by September 2008. After that, […]

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Bernanke doesn’t utter R-word but he means it

His replies confirm economy is in recession: analysts (NEW YORK) US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke didn’t utter the word, but analysts reading between the lines of his testimony to the US Congress this week say that he came as close as a central bank chief can to acknowledging the chances of recession. Since the […]

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Bernanke’s signal for rate cut stokes fears of inflation

Investors worry that stagflation could hit the US but Fed chief rejects the notion WASHINGTON – UNITED States Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s readiness to cut interest rates to avert a recession is stoking concerns that prices will get out of hand. ‘Mr Bernanke has really overweighted the economic risks relative to inflation,’ said Mr […]

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Greenback sinks further, nears new low against euro

LOS ANGELES – IN THE Federal Reserve’s battle to keep the United States economy from a severe downturn, the beleaguered US dollar is getting walloped anew. That is going to worsen the sticker shock for Americans headed overseas or buying some of their favourite imported goods. But it also will underpin the current boom in […]

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Orders for big-ticket US-made goods plunge 5.3% in Jan

(WASHINGTON) Signs of sluggish growth continue to beset the US economy with orders to US factories for big-ticket manufactured goods plunging in January by the largest amount in five months, even as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke sent a fresh signal that the central bank will again lower interest rates. The Commerce Department reported yesterday […]

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Stimulus will leave US even more vulnerable, experts warn

Stimulus will leave US even more vulnerable, experts warn WASHINGTON – EVEN if Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, United States President George W. Bush and the US Congress win the battle to avert a recession in the US this year, they risk losing the war to strengthen the economy for the long term. US economic […]

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Banking regulator sees more US mortgage defaults

WASHINGTON – Defaults are increasing among US homeowners with good, but not perfect, credit histories who obtained a non-traditional mortgage, a top US banking regulator said on Friday. More pain can be expected as both borrowers with poor credit, who hold sub-prime mortgages, and borrowers with good credit, who hold Alt-A mortgages, see their interest […]

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US recession may be as deep as in the 1990s

Fed likely to remain aggressive about cutting rates as a result, says Merrill NEW YORK – THE United States is in a recession that could be much worse than what it faced in 2001, and closer to the sharper economic slump of the 1990s, investment bank Merrill Lynch has said. The bank also said the […]

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US Fed to focus on growth with possible risk of inflation

Most other central banks put a single goal above all others: stable prices (WASHINGTON) A nightmare scenario of rising prices and falling growth emerged on Wednesday as the US government reported that consumer prices are surging even as the beleaguered housing sector remains stuck in its worst slump in a quarter century. The combination of […]

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‘US has slipped into recession’

NEW YORK – THE United States economy is in a recession, albeit a mild one, as a weakening consumer sector has compounded ongoing problems in the housing and credit markets, according to UBS economists. ‘It’s not coming. It’s here,’ UBS said in a research report on Wednesday. The Federal Reserve on Wednesday sharply lowered its […]

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LATEST US DATA: US inflation gathering steam

Core readings above market forecasts; more grim news on the property front (NEW YORK) US inflation accelerated in January in a worrying sign for the Federal Reserve’s campaign to bolster the flagging economy, while a separate report yesterday showed more troubling signs for the beleaguered housing market. Annual consumer price inflation increased to an unexpectedly […]

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Rising costs, strapped consumers squeeze top US foodmakers

(CHICAGO) For more than a year, food makers and other consumer products companies have passed on much of the burden of rising commodity costs to consumers. In fact, companies like H J Heinz and Hormel Foods proved again with earnings forecasts and announcements on Friday that this was still the case early this year, fuelling […]

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Investors looking for some clarity on the economy

WALL STREET INSIGHT Focus on consumer price report, results of retail giants AFTER somewhat of a comeback week for US stocks following the previous week’s heavy losses, investors will be forgiven if they feel as though they’ve got no idea what’s coming next. Indeed, the events of the past week alone would normally be enough […]

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Signs of US stagflation will pass off, say economists

Weakening demand will eventually cool inflation, they say (WASHINGTON) A clutch of distressing US economic data on Friday rekindled fears of 1970s-style stagflation, but the current bout of slow growth and rising costs should be short-lived. While there is little hope of a quick reprieve for US consumers coping with petrol around US$3 per gallon […]

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2008 not necessarily like 2007: UBS

(ZURICH) UBS AG does not expect 2008 to be a year like 2007, when the Swiss bank wrote down US $18 billion in bad credits and posted the first loss since its creation, its chief executive was quoted as saying yesterday. ‘I view the environment as difficult due to great uncertainties related to the US […]

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IMPROVING OUTLOOK: UBS expects this year to be a better one

ZURICH – UBS does not expect this year to be like the last, when the Swiss bank wrote down US$18 billion (S$25.5 billion) in bad credits and posted the first loss since its creation, its chief executive officer (CEO) was quoted as saying yesterday. ‘I view the environment as difficult due to great uncertainties related […]

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Asia won’t catch flu if US gets a cold, says MM Lee

With China and India propelling it, Asia won’t be ‘unduly disadvantaged’ by a recession in the US ASIA – propelled by the twin engines of China and India – will not be ‘unduly disadvantaged’ if a recession hits the United States, said Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew last night. ‘I believe this may be the […]

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US on verge of recession: Greenspan

(SAN FRANCISCO) Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said the US economy is on the verge of its first recession in six years as falling home values hurt consumer spending. ‘We are clearly on the edge,’ Mr Greenspan told a group of energy-industry executives at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates’ 27th annual CERAWeek conference in […]

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New trouble brewing as another debt market falters

Investors now refusing to buy US securities regarded not too long ago as safe as cash NEW YORK – SOME investors got a big jolt from Goldman Sachs this week: Goldman, the most celebrated bank on Wall Street, refused to let them withdraw money from investments they had considered as safe as cash. The investments […]

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US economy: Paulson, Bernanke play it cool

WASHINGTON – THOUGH economic officials have to avoid hysteria so that they don’t cause panic, United States Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying before the US Senate banking committee on Thursday, went so far the other way that they seemed bored. Mr Paulson could have been the secretary of ennui […]

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US economic outlook has worsened: Bernanke

Fed chief signals that he is ready to lower key interest rate (WASHINGTON) Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress yesterday that the United States’ economic outlook has deteriorated and signalled that the central bank is ready to keep on lowering a key interest rate – as needed – to shore things up. In prepared […]

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Troubled banks want to transfer some mortgage risks to US govt

New proposal for delinquent borrowers to refinance into loans backed by state THE United States banking industry, struggling to contain the fallout from the mortgage debacle, is now proposing to move some of the risk for troubled housing loans to the government, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. One proposal, being urgently advanced by officials […]

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Bernanke ‘upbeat’ US will avoid recession

He tells lawmakers the economy may pick up dramatically (WASHINGTON) US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke voiced optimism in a closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers on Tuesday that the United States would avoid slipping into a recession, Senator Charles Grassley said. ‘He was very upbeat about our not going into recession,’ the Iowa Republican said […]

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IEA’s demand forecast cut on US slowdown

(LONDON) The International Energy Agency, an adviser to 27 industrialised nations, cut its forecast for 2008 global oil demand because of the slowing US economy and said the underlying trend was ‘even weaker’. The agency reduced its forecast for demand this year by 200,000 barrels a day to 87.6 million barrels a day. That lowers […]

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Survey of economists signals US recession

(NEW YORK) According to Wall Street’s forecasters, the recession of 2008 is now unavoidable. That is, if you read between the lines of their predictions. In a survey released on Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, forecasters said on average there was a 47 per cent chance that the economy would shrink in […]

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Global tech outlook cut on US recession fears

(SAN FRANCISCO) Two leading technology research firms have cut global technology outlook for this year, citing the risk of a US recession. Forrester Research Inc said it now expects global technology purchases to grow 6 per cent in dollar terms this year, down from an earlier projection of 9 per cent. It expects US purchases […]

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Credit crisis spreading far beyond sub-prime loans

Repayments on prime mortgages, credit cards and car loans also affected (NEW YORK) The credit crisis is no longer just a sub-prime mortgage problem. As US home prices fall and banks tighten lending standards, people with good, or prime, credit histories are falling behind on their house payments, car loans and credit cards at a […]

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White House does not expect a recession

(WASHINGTON) The White House predicted on Monday that the economy would escape a recession and that unemployment would remain low this year, though it acknowledged that growth had already slowed. ‘I don’t think we are in a recession right now, and we are not forecasting a recession,’ said Edward Lazear, chairman of the White House […]

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Write-downs from sub-prime problems could touch $568b

German minister sounds warning as officials await audits from banks THE bloodbath is not over yet. Sub-prime-related write- offs may hit US$400 billion (S$567.8 billion) – more than treble the US$130 billion losses that Wall Street banks and other financial institutions have revealed in recent weeks, according to the world’s top finance officials. Speaking on […]

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Critical week for news of sub-prime damage: G-7

Leading banks to present first audited accounts since crisis IN TOKYO THIS week will be critical in revealing how much damage the credit crisis has done to the global financial system, according to a key official involved in last weekend’s meeting of Group of Seven (G-7) finance ministers in Tokyo. Leading banks will present the […]

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Sub-prime probes focus on disclosure, valuation

(WASHINGTON) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating how banks, creditrating firms and lenders valued and disclosed complex mortgage-backed securities that ultimately led to the sub-prime crisis, a top agency enforcer said on Saturday. ‘The big question is, who knew what when, and what did they disclose to the marketplace?’ said Cheryl Scarboro, an […]

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Odds of US recession now at 50%: Blue Chip forecast

Outlook dampened by data showing a contraction in hiring, consumer spending (WASHINGTON) The odds of a US recession have increased and stand at nearly 50 per cent amid a spate of data showing a weakening labour market, signs of more credit tightening and turmoil in the financial markets, the latest Blue Chip economic forecast projects. […]

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LATEST US DATA: ‘Painful’ and ‘drawn out’ recession likely: report

(NEW YORK) The US economy has entered a recession that will be more painful and drawn out than the usual downturn, the director of the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey said yesterday. Inflation pressures will linger despite the retrenchment in consumer spending, complicating the task of policy makers, the University’s Richard Curtin said in […]

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Americans in for worst recession in 20 years?

Recent job and other data show an economic downturn may last longer, too (WASHINGTON) The chances of the United States avoiding a recession appear to be growing dimmer by the day, and any contraction in the economy will likely last longer and be more severe than other downturns in the past 20 years. Recent reports […]

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US productivity growth seen slowing in Q4

Economists expect data to show a rise of just 0.5% (NEW YORK) US worker efficiency probably grew in the fourth quarter at the slowest pace in more than a year, pushing up labour costs, economists said before a government report yesterday. Productivity, a measure of how much an employee produces for each hour of work, […]

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Slump in services sector signals arrival of US recession

Shockingly weak services data could be final proof of economy shrinking ANY hope that the United States economy might escape a recession has now all but disappeared, say analysts. The last straw came when the country’s huge services sector – covering industries such as banking, retail and construction – shrank last month for the first […]

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NEWS ANALYSIS: US slowdown likely to be worse than recent ones

WASHINGTON – THE chances of the United States avoiding a recession appear to be growing dimmer by the day, and any contraction in the economy will likely last longer and be more severe than other downturns in the past 20 years. Recent reports have shown the US housing market slump and rising defaults in the […]

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Americans preoccupied with fears of recession

Financial institutions in Wall Street remain very apprehensive about the many ‘unknowns’ WASHINGTON INVESTORS in Wall Street were biting their nails early last week as they waited for US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues to decide whether to slash short-term interest rates for the second time in eight days. But with much […]

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It’s still the economy – but presidents can’t control it

AS THE US economy weakens and the campaign intensifies, Americans will hear more of liberal writer James Carville’s familiar refrain: It’s the economy, stupid. Well, it ain’t or, at least, shouldn’t be. I’m not claiming that Mr Carville is wrong about voting. People vote their pocketbooks. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, the economy […]

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US services sector suffers record slide in Jan

ISM index slid to 41.9 in Jan from 54.4 in Dec, stoking recession fears (NEW YORK) The US services sector retrenched sharply in January to levels not seen since the 2001 recession, renewing fears about an economic slump, according to a survey released on yesterday. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing plummeted to […]

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TAKING STOCK: Fresh US recession worries, Dow’s fall drag down STI

PROFIT-TAKING on renewed United States recession fears and Wall Street’s overnight dip delivered a one-two punch to abruptly halt the Singapore bourse’s two-day rally yesterday. A sharp selldown came in the last 30 minutes, as the Straits Times Index (STI) closed 38.66 points lower at 3,038.42, after rising a combined 95 points in the previous […]

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US services sector contracts, stocks fall

NEW YORK – UNITED States stocks tumbled yesterday, led by a sell-off among shares of financial companies, as a report showing a contraction in the vast services sector last month heightened recession fears. Data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) underscored concerns that the fallout from the housing slump was spreading to the broader […]

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US economic woes, rate cuts fuelling HK property boom

Analysts see prices revisiting the heady 1997 peak (HONG KONG) When first- time buyer Judy Kwan heard a flat was for sale in a street she admired in Hong Kong’s Wanchai district, she snapped it up within 24 hours without even seeing it, inheriting a tenant she had never met. Now she wants to buy […]

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Bush unveils record $4.2 trillion budget

Boost in military funding and cutbacks in health schemes mooted WASHINGTON – THE United States’ first-ever budget to hit US$3 trillion (S$4.2 trillion) has been proposed by President George W. Bush. It aims to boost military funding, virtually freeze many domestic programmes, and will result in huge fiscal deficits of around US$400 billion for this […]

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US December factory orders below forecast

WASHINGTON – NEW orders at United States factories rose a less-than-expected 2.3 per cent in December, the steepest gain since July, on strong aircraft sales, a government report showed yesterday. Orders for durable goods, items intended to last three years or longer, jumped 5 per cent, also the biggest gain since July, as civilian aircraft […]

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Flashes of optimism over global economy

Leaders note US system’s strengths and growth in nascent economies DAVOS (SWITZERLAND) – COATS and jackets are off as blue skies and glorious sunshine soften the stark beauty of the icy Swiss Alps. And in the nearly non-stop discussions between the world’s top political and business decision-makers gathered for this year’s World Economic Forum, flashes […]

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NEWS ANALYSIS: Spectre of recession spurs US bipartisan economic deal

Republican White House and Democrat-led Congress come together on stimulus package to resuscitate ailing economy WASHINGTON – DEMOCRATIC House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke about ‘bipartisanship’ 10 times. The combative lawmaker, who has been so critical of the Bush administration’s policies over the past year, took pleasure in announcing a hard-won deal on an economic stimulus […]

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US at the edge of a recession, says Greenspan

VANCOUVER – THE United States is drawing close to a recession, with the odds at 50 per cent or possibly higher, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said on Thursday. ‘The odds have definitely moved up from a year ago, when I was talking of about a third,’ Mr Greenspan told a financial audience. ‘I […]

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US response to downturn worrying

Instead of addressing the cause, policymakers are addressing the symptoms – the collapse of credit quality THOSE Asian allies and trade partners of the United States who can raise their gaze above stock market gyrations look with concern at the US response to its economic difficulties. They note a continuing unwillingness to face realities and […]

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Bush and Congress join hands to revive economy

They set aside partisan differences to rush out $216b stimulus package WASHINGTON – JOLTED by global recession fears, US President George W. Bush and leaders of Congress have joined hands in a rare show of cooperation, promising urgent action to pump up the economy with upwards of US$150 billion (S$216 billion) in tax cuts and […]

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DBS analysts see US slowdown, not recession

WITH the markets falling all around them, DBS analysts are standing out with a contrarian and notably optimistic view on where macroeconomic variables are headed. The bank’s head of group research, Sanjit Maitra, said at DBS’s annual outlook seminar for corporate and private clients yesterday that he believes that US domestic consumption is not headed […]

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Investors abroad don’t feel immune to US woes now

They worry how bad a US recession could get, and how badly it would hit the world (FRANKFURT) Since late last summer, the US economy has demonstrated an enduring power to surprise. And not for the better. Investors worldwide are pondering the prospects for a recession in the United States, their latest and furthestreaching preoccupation […]

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COMMENTARY: Things are no different after all

FOR months, the warning signs were apparent, but euphoric investors, boosted by a liquidity-driven bull market that had lasted more than three years, chose to ignore them. Furthermore, they were lulled into complacency by repeated bouncebacks from various shocks ranging from Chinese monetary tightening to the yen ‘carry trade’. Now, in the space of months, […]

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Soros warns of worst financial crisis since WWII

(VIENNA) Billionaire investor George Soros said the world was facing the worst financial crisis since World War II and the United States was threatened with recession, according to an interview by the Austrian daily Standard. ‘The situation is much more serious than any other financial crisis since the end of World War II,’ Mr Soros […]

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US economists bearish about America: survey

But they are more upbeat about their own firms’ outlook (WASHINGTON) Leading business economists are growing more pessimistic about the health of the US economy, but are more upbeat about their own company’s prospects, according to a new survey. The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) panel yesterday predicted a sharply lower pace of growth […]

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Dramatic 75 basis point cut in US rates

As markets reel, US central bank says it stands ready to act again; its next scheduled meeting is in a week’s time NEW YORK CORRESPONDENT IN A stunning response to the panic that triggered two days of frightening sell-offs on world stock markets, the US central bank yesterday slashed interest rates by a dramatic 75 […]

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Recession in US, Europe could shake Asia, S’pore

Region still relies heavily on world’s biggest markets, say economists A RECESSION in the United States and Europe would badly hurt Asian economies, including Singapore’s, which still rely heavily on these two export markets for growth, according to economists. Indeed, analysts at Lehman Brothers believe economic growth in Singapore could slump to as low as […]

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Fed slashes rates in bid to halt share selloff

‘Emergency’ cut of 0.75 percentage points is its biggest in 26 years THE United States central bank slashed interest rates last night in a desperate bid to halt a global share market bloodbath and keep recession at bay. The dramatic ’emergency’ rate cut of 0.75 percentage points was far higher than expected and the biggest […]

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Analysts see Asian economies weathering a US recession

Reason: Asia is now less dependent on the US economy (BANGKOK) Asia would be able to weather any recession in the United States, analysts say, because rising trade and investment within the region make it less dependent on the US economy than in the past. While a severe downturn in the US would drag on […]

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Investors reckon US already in recession

Markets, key indicators are plunging, reflecting sentiment that outlook appears to be very bleak NEW YORK – WHILE the chairman of the United States Federal Reserve told Congress on Thursday that a recession could still be averted, Wall Street sent Washington a different message: It is already here. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 306.95 […]

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Data shows recession in some US states, industries

Economists see signs damage is spreading to states; industries now unaffected (WASHINGTON) A wide range of data from the government, private corporations and independent analysts paints a picture of a nation that is already in recession in some states and industries, while much of the nation and big parts of the economy have suffered little. […]

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LATEST US DATA: Housing starts plunge 14% in December

Building permits post biggest fall in 12 years as housing slump deepens (WASHINGTON) Builders in the US broke ground in December on fewer houses than forecast, making 2007’s decline in homebuilding the worst in almost three decades. The 14 per cent decrease to an annual rate of 1.006 million, the lowest since 1991, followed a […]

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Sub-prime losses could near half a trillion dollars: study

TOKYO – Potential losses from US mortgage woes could top US$460 billion worldwide with aftershocks to be felt until late 2008, a Japanese private think tank estimated on Friday. The Japan Research Institute said in a report that combined losses to be suffered by financial institutions and investors worldwide could reach US$463.6 billion ‘in the […]

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Bush, Bernanke back economic rescue plan

No specifics yet, but package is likely to include tax rebates (WASHINGTON) US President George W Bush and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke yesterday embraced calls for an economic stimulus package to avert recession. Mr Bernanke said that such a plan should be quickly implemented and temporary so that it will not complicate longer-term fiscal […]

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Merrill takes US$11.5b sub-prime writedown

Largest US broker posts first full-year loss since 1989 (NEW YORK) Merrill Lynch reported a second straight quarterly loss after writing down US$11.5 billion of subprime mortgages and bonds, ousting its chief executive officer and losing almost half of its market value in 2007. New York-based Merrill said yesterday that it suffered a fourth-quarter net […]

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Fed chief backs quick action to help US economy

But Bernanke says Fed is not forecasting recession; Bush also sees need for fiscal stimulus WASHINGTON – FEDERAL Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke yesterday threw his support behind efforts to craft a fiscal stimulus package, and repeated that the United States central bank was ready to act aggressively to counter recession risks. The remarks came shortly […]

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Forget forecasts, US may be in recession already

Misreading economy not unusual due to mixed signals from various sectoral data WASHINGTON – FOR all the complex ways in gathering economic data and crunching it at the speed of light, predicting recessions is still an inexact science. ‘It’s the economy, stupid,’ said Mr Bill Clinton and he was elected President in 1992 on promises […]

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US hurdles force Dubai state fund to look to China

Istithmar among such funds seeking out less developed markets to avoid excessive scrutiny DUBAI government investment agency Istithmar is considering investments in China, after being rebuffed in the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Istithmar comes under the umbrella of state-owned Dubai World, which also includes Dubai Ports World (DP World), a container […]

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US may get economic stimulus plan in 30 days

Package on fast track in Congress after rival parties reach agreement WASHINGTON – AN ECONOMIC stimulus package to avert a possible recession in the United States could be passed within 30 days, a leading US congressman said. The package is on the fast track in Congress after Democratic and Republican leaders in the US House […]

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All eyes on Fed as main line of defence against recession

Many sceptical that spending measures, tax cuts will help (CHICAGO) Concern that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate cuts will have a limited impact on economic growth, and may risk fuelling inflation, have led to calls for a fiscal policy boost for the US economy. But many are sceptical that Congress or the White House can […]

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Rise in US consumer prices largest in 17 years

WASHINGTON – UNITED States consumer prices rose 0.3 per cent last month and for all of 2007 they shot up at the fastest rate in 17 years, largely because of soaring energy costs, the US Labour Department reported yesterday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most broadly used gauge of inflation, rose 4.1 per cent […]

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US recession fears send Asian markets into a tailspin

STI, Hang Seng suffer big drops; bank and tech stocks, energy and base metal prices also hit STOCK markets across Asia plummeted yesterday amid fears that a gathering financial storm in the United States might tip the global economy into a recession. Hong Kong was the worst hit as the Hang Seng Index plunged an […]

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MARKET TUMBLE: Bank stocks hit by US recession, sub-prime fears

Sell-off symptomatic of broader sell-down, slowing in S’pore’s economy: analysts BANK stocks were clobbered yesterday on continuing concerns of a possible recession in the United States, subprime lending woes and a general slowing down of the Singapore economy. This comes on the back of the news that Citigroup reported its biggest loss in its 196-year […]

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Oil drops to 3-week low on economic concerns

OIL prices slid below US$91 a barrel yesterday to the lowest level in more than three weeks. This came ahead of a slate of oil industry data that could show more signs of possible weakening demand and as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries repeated its pledge to lift output if needed. US light crude […]

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Familiar strain of worry weighs heavy

SENIOR CORRESPONDENT THE pattern of trading over the past month or so has been the same and yesterday was no different – shortcovering lifted the index temporarily in the morning before renewed weakness and shorting resumed soon afterward. The cue for short-covering is usually either an overnight rebound on Wall Street, or a rise in […]

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US recession seen reducing oil demand

(HOUSTON) A US recession will curb demand for energy before high crude oil prices will, Boone Pickens, chairman of Dallas-based hedge fund BP Capital LLC, told an audience of geologists in Houston on Monday. ‘Demand destruction will come from recession; US$100 oil is acceptable,’ Mr Pickens said. It’s likely the US is already in a […]

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US either in grip of recession, or near it: Greenspan

He points to recent data such as rise in joblessness in Dec (NEW YORK) The United States economy is probably in a recession or about to slide into it, former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. The odds are ‘not overwhelming but they are marginally in […]

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US economy needs stimulus: Bernanke

Economists have said the US is probably slipping into a recession (WASHINGTON) Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke feels that some economic stimulus is needed, a Democratic aide to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. Ms Pelosi and Mr Bernanke met at the US Capitol on Monday as President George W Bush and congressional Democrats are […]

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Oil falls below US$94 on fears of potential recession in US

(SINGAPORE) Oil fell yesterday, on fears a potential recession would hurt US demand amid forecasts of higher crude stocks, but the fall was limited by Nigerian supply disruptions and geopolitical concerns about Iran. US light crude for February delivery dropped 42 cents to US$93.78 a barrel by 0819 GMT after leaping US$1.51 on Monday, snapping […]

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US in or near recession, says Greenspan

NEW YORK – THE United States economy is probably in a recession or about to slide into one, former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. The odds are ‘not overwhelming, but they are marginally in that direction’, he was quoted as saying. ‘The symptoms are […]

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Markets brace for news of big losses by banks

Citigroup could write off US$24b, lay off 20,000 staff (LONDON) Major American banks are expected to unveil substantial losses and secure more cash from abroad in what is shaping up to be a pivotal week for the global credit crisis. Citigroup could write off as much as US$24 billion and lay off 20,000 workers in […]

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Citigroup could write down $34b, cut staff

Analysts also expect US’ largest lender to report $5.7b in fourth-quarter losses NEW YORK – CITIGROUP could make as much as US$24 billion (S$34.3 billion) in write-downs and lay off 20,000 staff as part of a plan to cut costs and boost capital, CNBC has reported. The report on its website dated Sunday said the […]

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Kuwait emerges as key to US banks’ funding plans

KUWAIT’S sovereign wealth fund is emerging as a key investor in plans by Merrill Lynch and Citigroup to raise about US$19 billion (S$27.2 billion) to help shore up their balance sheets, according to media reports. Merrill is in talks to raise up to US$4 billion worth of fresh capital with the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA). […]

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Slowing sales worry top-end US retailers

NEW YORK – UPSCALE jeweller Tiffany & Co said last Friday that the number of purchases at its American stores dropped during the holiday shopping season, signalling that a pullback in United States consumer spending is percolating up to high-end merchants. The slowdown was unexpected and sent jitters through the world of luxury-goods makers, which […]

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Merrill in hunt for more capital as losses set to hit US$15b

It’s wooing investors in US, Asia, Mid-East to shore up finances (NEW YORK) Merrill Lynch is expected to suffer US$15 billion in losses stemming from soured mortgage investments, almost double its original estimate, prompting the firm to raise additional capital from an outside investor. The largest US brokerage firm is expected to disclose the huge […]

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LATEST US DATA: Record oil prices swell trade deficit

November’s gap jumps by 9.3% to US$63.1b; highest level in 14 months (WASHINGTON) The US trade deficit in November surged to the highest level in 14 months, reflecting record imports of foreign oil. The deficit with China declined slightly while the weak dollar boosted exports to another record high. The Commerce Department reported that the […]

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