Marcus Evans Group | Worldwide Headquarters | American Offices | Latin America | European Offices | African / Asian Offices

US housing and jobless figures push up Wall Street and support FTSE 100

Dow Jones Industrial Average edges higher after latest economic data and helps support European markets

A reasonable set of economic data from the US has got Wall Street off to a good start and helped the FTSE climb off its worst levels.

US housing starts edged up 1.5% in January, with the previous months revised upwards. Teunis Brosens at ING Bank said:

With these revisions, starts now show a clear upward trend. Although the mild winter weather may have disrupted seasonal adjustment, we dare say that construction activity has shifted up a gear.

Homebuilders seem to have concluded that the bottom for construction activity is in. Further rises in housing starts and sales should be ahead. These bring with them more jobs and positive contributions to GDP growth. Let’s hope homebuilders are right on this one.

Elsewhere producer prices inflation numbers were lower than expected. Annalisa Piazza at Newedge Strategy said:

US PPI was up by a modest 0.1% month on month in January whilst the core index was up by a more solid 0.4%. Today’s PPI report is quite surprising. Indeed, core PPI was pencilled at around 0.2% whilst headline figures were expected to rise by a much higher 0.3%-0.4%.

Earlier initial jobless claims fell by 13,000 last week to 348,000, the third weekly drop in a row. All this has helped push the Dow Jones Industrial Average around 55 points higher. The FTSE 100 is now down 15.03 points at 5877.13 having earlier fallen as low as 5829 on continuing worries about whether the Greek crisis will ever be resolved or whether the country will just default and leave the euro zone. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds