Week of December 11, 2011 thru December 17, 2011

Australia Q3 Dwelling Starts Drop For Second Straight Quarter

SYDNEY (MNI) - The number of dwelling starts fell for the second straight quarter, down 6.8% quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted in the September quarter compared with a revised 4.1% fall in the June quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.

The outcome was worse than expectations with economists polled by Market News International expecting a 1.5% fall. It was also outside the range of expectations which was -3.0% to +1.5%.

The June quarter data were revised slightly higher from an initially reported 4.7% fall.

The latest drop was largely due to a 12.2% Q3 fall (-6.1% in Q2) in new private other residential building commencements and 2.5% (-1.6% in Q2) on-quarter fall in new private house starts.

Australia NAB: Current Conditions Improve But Confidence Flat

SYDNEY (MNI) - Current Australian business conditions improved slightly in November, consistent with an economy growing around trend, but confidence remained unchanged below its long-term average, the results of the latest National Australia Bank monthly survey showed Tuesday.

The survey was conducted from November 21 to 25, after the Reserve Bank cut its cash rate on November 1 but before the next rate cut announced in the first week of December.

The seasonally adjusted business conditions index rose 1 point to +1 in November, from a revised zero reading in October, and is now in line with the long-run average of +1.

Business confidence, however, was unchanged at +2, well below the long-run average of +6.

Japan Oct Tertiary Index Posts 1st Rise in 2 Mths on Software

-- Japan Oct Tertiary Index +0.6% M/M; MNI Median Forecast +0.4%
-- Japan Tertiary Index Posts 1st M/M Rise in 2 Months; Sep -0.4%
-- Japan Oct Tertiary Index +0.5% Y/Y Vs Sep Unchanged

TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's tertiary industry index, which measures spending in the services sector, rebounded in October, buoyed by software services, leisure and retail sales, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted index rose 0.6% to 98.7 in October following a revised 0.4% fall in September and a revised 0.1% rise in August. The level remained below the pre-disaster level of 99.3 marked in February.

The October figure came in better than the median forecast for +0.4% by economists polled by Market News International.

ECB Kranjec:Sure Euro To Remain Common Currency In Future:TV

FRANKFURT (MNI) - The euro will remain the common currency of Europe in the future, European Central Bank Governing Council member Marko Kranjec said Monday in a television interview.

Kranjec, who heads the Bank of Slovenia, said on the Slovenian national news program Odmevi on station RTV that a return to predecessor currencies would be bad for any country taking such a step as well as for the union as a whole.

"I am sure that the euro as a common currency will exist in the future, and Slovenia has to stay in the Eurozone," he said.

Text: Moody's Puts 8 Spanish Bks On Review For Possible Cut

SYDNEY (MNI) - Moody's has put the ratings of eight Spanish banks and two holding companies on review for possible downgrade. Following is the statement from Moody's:

Moody's has placed on review for possible downgrade the ratings of eight Spanish banks and two holding companies -- Banco Cooperativo, Banco Sabadell; Bankia and its holding company, Banco Financiero y de Ahorro (BFA); Bankinter, CaixaBank and its holding company, La Caixa; Confederacion Espanola de Cajas de Ahorro (CECA); Caja Rural de Granada; Ibercaja Banco; and Lico Leasing.

China Economic Data Calendar

All figures year-over-year percent changes unless otherwise specified.

Date Time For Event Previous Local/GMT


13-15 Dec -- / -- Nov Money Supply (M2) (% ytd y/y) +12.9 13-15 Dec -- / -- Nov New Loans (yuan bln mth, trln ytd) +586.8/+6.27 13-15 Dec -- / -- Nov Actual FDI ($ bln mth, % ytd y/y) +8.33/+15.9 14 Dec 1000/0200 Oct Conf Brd China Leading Index 160.2 14 Dec 1000/0200 Oct Conf Brd China Coincident Index 207.5 23 Dec 0935/0135 Dec MNI China Business Sentiment Flash Survey+55.52 26 Dec 1030/0230 Dec Flash Purchasing Manager's Index (HSBC) +48.0 30 Dec 0935/0135 Dec MNI China Business S

TheFXSpot: Mkt Frets Eurozone Rating Downgrade; Fed Mtg Eyed

NEW YORK, Dec 12 (MNI) - Fears of an eurozone credit rating downgrade, potentially as early as this week, weighed on the euro and risk appetite in general Monday.

US Debt Offering, Auction Calendar for Tsy and Agency Issues

December 12

Source: U.S. Treasury, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Amounts in billions of U.S.

NAR: Benchmark Revisions To Lower Existing-Home Sales Totals

WASHINGTON (MNI) - The National Association of Realtors will announce downward revisions to U.S. existing-home sales starting from 2007 on, when it releases the regularly scheduled existing-home sales report for November, on Wednesday December 21.

The NAR said "an up-drift in sales projections" led to a divergence starting in 2007 between the NAR model used to calculate home sales rates and the actual marketplace.

"Although there are downward revisions for total sales in recent years, there is little change to previously reported monthly comparisons or characterizations based on percentage change," the NAR said, adding that there will be no changes to relative months supply or median home prices.

US News Events Calendar

--Meetings & Events of Interest to Subscribers



13-Dec 1330/0830 Treasury senior advisor Raj Date remarks at the Financial Fitness Forum hosted by the CFPB in Washington.

13-Dec 1730/1230 FOMC monetary policy announcement

14-Dec 1330/0830 Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart speech about Atlanta at the Midtown Alliance Annual Meeting.

15-Dec 1900/1400 House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee holds hearing on the collapse of MF Global, in Washington.