As president Obama vowed to make Job creation in the US the number- one focus in 2010 in the State of the Union address the rest of the world took heed, with global markets gaining early in the session on plans to introduce a new jobs bill. True to form, things turned pare as US equity markets lost ground, led by a sell off on Technology stocks coupled with less than convincing economic data from the States. This overshadowed the burst of energy seen from the Obama news with investors once again taking the cash is king approach, with the perceived safety of the Dollar and Yen the beneficiaries.
US Economic data saw Durable Goods orders rise 0.3 per cent in December, but well short of the estimated 2.1 per cent growth. The number of new applicants for unemployment benefits fell short of estimates falling to 470,000 for the week of Jan 23, representing a mild improvement from the previous weeks 478,000 new applications. The number of applications on an ongoing basis fell to 4,602,000 from 4,659,000 the previous week.
European economic feedback saw the number of Germans unemployed rise by 6,000 in the month of January, representing a vast improvement from the 20,000 estimated. This edges the German unemployment rate up to 8.2 per cent from 8.1 per cent in December. Euro-Zone Consumer confidence remained unchanged for the month of January with a reading of -16; Economists were expecting the consumer confidence reading to rise to -15. Economic confidence figures for January surpassed expectations, rising to a level of 95.7 from Decembers upwardly revised 94.1. Industrial confidence strengthened in line with consensus registering a level of -14 in January from -16 in December.
Higher yielding assets came of second best with the Aussie once again falling through 90 US cents and remains close to session lows of 89.3 US cents. The local unit remains under pressure in domestic trading with little upside to be gathered from what looks to be a negative knock-on from Wall Street. However NAB Business confidence survey for the fourth quarter to be released at 10.00 AEDT may generate some mild support.