Econintersect: Asia/Pacific stock markets are split in midday trading Wednesday. Six are up and five are down, with all changes less than 1%. The leading gainer is Tokyo (+0.6%) and the the biggest loser is Sydney (-0.8%).
Econintersect: Oil prices eased Tuesday (March 8), with Brent crude down more than WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude again. After peaking in early trading Monday morning at $106.83, WTI crude traded down to $105.44 by market close yetserday and another $0.42 by the close Tuesday at $105.02, after trading as low as $104.69 during the day.
Econintersect: Moody's Investors Service downgraded Greek debt Monday (March 7) to B1 from Ba1, which is lower than Egypt. Moody's said it may cut further, drawing an indignant protest from the Greek Finance Ministry.
The credit rating owngrade was by three levels, increasing the probability that Greece may have to restructure its debt within the next two years.
Econintersect: Data is now in for the financial year 2009-10 and India's per capita income rose by 14.5% to Rs 46,492. At today's exchange rate, this is $1,013. There was an extreme divergence between urban and rual populations. The most recent fiscal year for which the exact data has been broken out (2004-05), the percapita income was Rs 16,327 in rural areas and Rs 44,223 in urban areas.
Econintersect: February posted positive numbers in job growth, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, which reports a modest increase of .4 points in its latest Index of Small-Business Optimism. Econintersect analyst Doug Short dove into the data showing it remains depressionary.
Please follow Doug's analysis NFIB: Small Business Sentiment Improves Slightly