Overseas Headlines – December 29, 2016

Dollar and Oil Retreat Along With European Shares: Markets Wrap
The dollar dropped the most in two weeks while oil retreated from its highest close in 17 months as investors prepared to close out a volatile year for financial markets. European stocks slid from a 2016 peak. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell for the first time in four days, with the U.S. currency declining against almost all its major peers. The strengthening yen sent Japan’s Topix to its biggest drop in more than a month, while European shares extended losses for 2016. Crude in New York slipped for the first time in nine days, threatening to halt the longest winning streak since 2010. Gold extended gains. The S&P 500 Index fell the most since October on Wednesday as data showed a decline in pending U.S. home sales.

London House-Price Growth Lags Behind U.K. First Time Since 2008
London’s housing market underperformed the rest of the U.K. for the first time in eight years as buyers increasingly found themselves stretched by affordability, according to Nationwide Building Society. Home prices in the capital rose 3.7 percent in 2016 from a year earlier, down from 12.2 percent in 2015, the mortgage lender said on Thursday. Across the U.K., values increased an annual 4.5 percent, climbing 0.8 percent in December. “London’s significant period of outperformance may be drawing to a close,” said Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide. “In London and the South of England, more people have found themselves priced out of the market or had to borrow a greater multiple of their income, though low interest rates have helped reduce monthly mortgage costs.”


China business confidence index rises for third straight quarter: central bank survey
Business confidence among entrepreneurs in China rose for the third straight quarter in October-December, according to a survey by the People’s Bank of China published on Thursday. The entrepreneurs’ confidence index rose to 54.2 percent in the fourth quarter, 3 percentage points higher than in the third quarter, the central bank survey showed. Another central bank survey showed bankers’ confidence rose to 53.7 in the fourth quarter, up 7.2 percentage points from the third quarter.