US house prices distract investors

21:55, Jun 26 2012

US equity investors got a break from watching Europe's slow motion train crash overnight, with a bout of mildly better-than-expected housing data helping to lift appetite for stocks.

And while the bounce may play through into the Asian trading day, it looks vulnerable ahead of the European Union Leaders' Summit, which kicks off tomorrow.

Making sure that investors don't get too ahead of themselves was a sudden spike in Spanish borrowing costs and German Chancellor Angela Merkel again voicing her opposition to the issue of common euro bonds.

This week's data flows also start to pick up from today, adding a dash of complexity to an already fragile situation. Locally, trade balance data is out, while offshore US durable goods orders and pending home sales stats are due.

Stocks to watch:

Ecoya has shed three directors as part of an internal review. The resignation of Collette Dinnigan, Craig Schweighoffer and Deeta Colvin is effective immediately, leaving the scented candle maker with six-seat board. ECO shares last traded at $1.26 apiece.

Infratil's chief financial officer Kevin Baker is stepping down from the role after seven years with the company. He will be moving to a full-time senior executive role within HRL Morrison & Co. IFT shares closed at $2 yesterday.

Summerset Group is moving closer to construction on its 16th retirement village having gained approval for the purchase of a waterfront property in Hobsonville, Auckland. The firm is looking to develop 300 units on the site. SUM shares were last at $1.65.

Equity markets
Australia and New Zealand
NZX 50: -0.6 per cent to 3381.32
S&P/ASX 200: -0.36 per cent to 4013.3    

Dow: +0.26 per cent to 12,534.70
S&P 500: +0.48 per cent to 1319.99
Nasdaq: +0.63 per cent to 2854.06

FTSE 100: -0.07 per cent to 5446.96
Dax: +0.07 per cent to 6136.69
Stoxx 600: -0.09 per cent to 242.59

Nikkei: -0.81 per cent to 8669.99
Hang Seng: +0.45 per cent to 18,981.80

The New Zealand dollar recently traded at US79.01 cents, up from US78.84c at 5pm yesterday.

Gold: US$1571.54 an ounce, from US$1583.99 yesterday
ICE Brent Crude: US$93.05 a barrel, from US$91.36 yesterday
Thompson Reuters Jefferies CRB: +0.69 per cent to 272.76