Personal finance commitments on the rise: Midday roundup

The seasonally adjusted value of total personal finance commitments for February 2013 rose 2.8%, according to new figures.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates revolving credit commitments increased by 5.2%, seasonally adjusted for the month, fixed lending commitments rose 1.1% and the value of owner occupied housing commitments also increased 1.2%.

Commercial finance commitments jumped 1% in February, after falling 9.8% in January this year. Commercial fixed lending commitments also rose by 3.7%, following a decline of 5.2%.

New car sales fall in March

New car sales for last month have decreased marginally on those in February, according to figures released this morning.

ABS statistics indicated seasonally adjusted new car sales fell 0.6% in March to an estimated 95,113.

Seasonally adjusted estimates showed more people were buying passenger vehicles, with sales increasing 3.3%.

Sales of sports utility vehicles decreased by 0.5%, although in trend terms these vehicles showed a rise of 1.1%.

Seasonal estimates show four of the eight states and territories had an increase in new motor vehicle sales compared to February, with sales rising 7.7% in Tasmania. Victoria and Western Australia recorded the highest drops, with sales in these states dropping by 3.1% and 2.2% respectively.

Gold price tumbles

The value of gold has recorded its biggest two-day drop in 30 years, with the price of the precious mineral falling more than 9%.

Spot gold decreased 9.1% in value last night at $US1344.39. Since Thursday last week, gold prices have dropped more than $US200 an ounce.

A bad sign for gold miners, early signs show the gold sell-off is continuing today. Shares in Evolution Mining have dropped a significant 18.93% and fallen to $0.985. Shares in Newcrest mining have fallen 6.81% this morning to $16.70 and had been as low as $16.30.

Shares fall on open

Australian shares have dropped on open, following substantial losses from gold mining companies, news of China’s economic slowdown and the bomb blasts in Boston.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 33.1 points to 4934.8, just after midday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.79% last night, closing 265.86 points lower at 14599.20.

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