Home buyer confidence dips 240 people have read this article Monday, 07 February 2011 Staff Reporter Economic uncertainty brought on by the recent natural disasters has impacted home buyer confidence. Just 48.2 per cent of properties cleared at auction in Sydney this weekend, significantly lower than the 68.2 per cent achieved this time last year. The most expensive property sold at the weekend was a three bedroom house in Punchbowl, which went under the hammer for $1.4million; the cheapest was a $151,000, two bedroom unit in Campbelltown. And the story was much the same in both Melbourne and Queensland, according to Australian Property Monitors. In Melbourne, just 61.6 per cent of properties cleared – down from the 75.0 per cent recorded this time last year. Meanwhile Brisbane achieved a clearance rate of just 23.0 per cent.
n US non-farm payrolls
(employment) rose by just 36,000 in
January. While the report was well short
of expectations of job gains near
148,000, weakness was attributed to harsh
snow storms in the month. But the
jobless rate plunged from 9.4pct to
9.0pct – the lowest level since April
2009. Hourly earnings jumped by 0.4pct.
n European shares rose slightly on
Friday as investors debated a mixed US
payrolls report. Construction and
utility stocks were most in demand. The
FTSEurofirst index rose by 0.1pct, with
the UK FTSE up 0.2pct and German Dax
higher by 0.3pct.
n US sharemarkets rose on Friday
as investors shrugged off tepid jobs
growth, preferring to focus on positive
forward indicators released earlier in
the week. At the close of trade, the Dow
Jones index was up 29.9pts or 0.3pct with
the S&P 500 up 0.3pct and the Nasdaq was
higher by 15pts or 0.6pct. Over the week
the Dow Jones rose by 2.3pct with the S&P
up 2.7pct and Nasdaq lifted by 3.1pct.
n US treasuries fell on Friday
(yields higher) as investors fretted that
inflation could prove
stronger-than-expected over 2011. US 2yr
yields rose by 3pts to 0.75pct and US
10yr yields lifted by 9pts to 3.64pct.
Over the week US 2yr yields rose by 20pts
– the most since June 7 2009. And US 10yr
yields rose by 31pts.
n Major currencies eased against
the US dollar during US trade on Friday.
The Euro fell from highs near US$1.3645
to US$1.3545 before ending US trade near
US$1.3580. The Euro has softened to US
$1.3550 this morning. The Aussie dollar
fell from highs around US101.95c to
US101.10c, but lifted to near US101.40c
in late US trade. The Aussie has softened
to near US101.10c this morning. And the
Japanese yen fell from 81.50 yen per US
dollar to around JPY82.45, and closed US
trade near JPY82.20.
n US crude oil prices fell by
almost 2pct on Friday in response to
unfounded speculation that Egypt’s
President Mubarak could step down over
the week-end. Investors also chose to
take profits as the US dollar rose. The
Nymex crude oil contract fell by US$1.51
(1.7pct) to US$89.04 a barrel. And London
Brent crude fell by US$1.93 to US$99.83 a
barrel. Over the week Nymex crude fell by
US30c while Brent rose by US41c.
n Base metal prices rose on the
London Metal Exchange on Friday. Metals
rose 0.4-1.5pct with nickel doing best.
Over the week metals generally rose
between 5.3-6.7pct but aluminium lagged
with a 2.5pct gain. But the gold price
eased on Friday in line with oil in
response to a stronger greenback. The
Comex gold futures price fell by US$4.00
an ounce to US$1,349.00. Gold rose by US
$8.30 an ounce over the week.
n Ahead: In Australia, job
advertisements data is released together
with retail trade. In the US, consumer
credit data is released.