Market rollercoaster eases: Economy round-up
Wednesday, December 19, 2007/
The intense equity and financial market volatility of recent days appears to have paused for the moment, with the S&P/ASX200 up a mild 0.2% to 6259.7 by 1pm today.
After plummeting well into correction territory – defined as a 10% drop in value over the past month – early yesterday morning, the S&P/ASX200 staged a turnaround to close just 0.4% down on the market opening.
The quiet has also taken some pressure off the Australian dollar, which is trading at US86.12c at 1pm after closing at US85.87c yesterday.
Economic data released today points to the capacity constraints that plague the Australian economy. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index of economic activity for October suggests the economy will grow at a quick 5.5% annualised over the next three to nine months, a rate that would almost certainly result in an interest rate rise were it to become reality.
And the number of unfilled jobs in December increased by 1.9%, according to the Department of Education and Workplace Relations skilled vacancies index for December, although the total number of skilled vacancies remains 0.6% down on the highs reached this time last year.