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LONDON European shares hit an 18-month high and the euro and euro zone periphery bonds climbed on Tuesday, buoyed by a pick-up in German confidence indicators and expectations the Federal Reserve will keep pumping money into the U.S. economy. Following some disappointing euro zone data this month, the ZEW survey provided some relief for markets, showing confidence among German investors and economists increased sharply in November. Markets had been rattled on Monday by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s announcement he would step down some weeks early. But the upbeat ZEW data helped lift shares and the euro from their gloom. [...]

BEIJING Growth in China’s factory output and retail sales jumped to eight-month highs in November as consumer inflation bounced off 33-month lows in the latest sign that its economy is snapping out of a protracted slump. Analysts said Sunday’s data showed China is enjoying an enviable mix of benign inflation and rebounding economic growth that allows Beijing to stand still on monetary and fiscal policies, or switch to an easier stance if needed. “The Chinese economy is now in a sweet spot and can stay in the sweet spot through the first half of 2013,” said Ting Lu, an economist [...]

TOKYO Asian shares touched fresh 16-month highs on Friday as investors awaited U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due later in the day, with sentiment underpinned by signs that China’s economy is stabilizing. European shares will likely gain modestly, with financial spreadbetters predicting London’s FTSE 100 , Paris’s CAC-40 and Frankfurt’s DAX to open as much as 0.4 percent higher. A 0.1 percent rise in U.S. stock futures hinted at a steady Wall Street open. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> rose 0.5 percent, and was set for its third-straight weekly gain with a 1.3 percent advance. The index [...]

The net wealth of U.S. households rose in the third quarter to its highest since late 2007, providing a hopeful sign for future consumer spending. Net financial wealth grew $ 1.72 trillion to $ 64.77 trillion, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday. That left household wealth $ 1.2 trillion short of where it stood in the fourth quarter of 2007, just as the economy was sinking into a severe recession. Wealth peaked at $ 67.3 trillion in the third quarter of that year. Rising home prices helped drive the increase in the latest quarter. The value of real estate owned [...]

SINGAPORE Asian shares slipped on Tuesday after a plunge in U.S. manufacturing activity hit Wall Street stocks and the dollar, while the euro hovered near a six-week high on optimism over Greece’s plan to buy back debt. Declines in Asian stock markets suggested caution setting in after gains in recent weeks, with investors reluctant to chase shares higher amid continued gridlock in the U.S. Congress over proposals to avert the so-called fiscal cliff – $ 600 billion worth of tax increases and spending cuts that will be automatically triggered in early 2013. European shares were expected to open lower, U.S. [...]

SINGAPORE Asian shares slipped on Tuesday after a plunge in U.S. manufacturing activity hit American stocks and the dollar, while the euro hovered near a six-week high on optimism over Greece’s plan to buy back debt. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> fell 0.3 percent to 450.79, backing away from a nine-month high reached on Monday. Australian shares eased 0.5 percent, while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average fell 0.2 percent, declining further from a seven-month intraday high of 9,525.82 struck on Monday. The losses in Asian stock markets were suggestive of some caution after gains in the [...]

Auto sales in November raced to a five-year high for that month on a rebound from storm-ravaged October and the need to replace aging vehicles, leaving industry executives optimistic about 2013. Sales in November rose 15 percent to 1.14 million vehicles, the highest level for that month since 2007, before a recession caused a dramatic decline in demand and led to the bankruptcy filings of General Motors Co and Chrysler. “Vehicle sales are one of the encouraging spots of our economy,” said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager with Hodges Capital Management in Dallas. Ford Motor Co , Honda Motor Co <7267.T> [...]

Auto sales in November were helped by a rebound from storm-ravaged October and the need to replace aging vehicles which put the industry on pace for a near five-year high and left executives optimistic about 2013. Sales in November were on pace to top an annual rate of 15 million vehicles, which would mark the highest level since the 15.5 million rate of February 2008. “Vehicle sales are one of the encouraging spots of our economy,” said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager with Hodges Capital Management in Dallas. Ford Motor Co , Honda Motor Co <7267.T> and Nissan Motor Co <7201.T> [...]

BEIJING China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to a seven-month high of 50.6 in November from 50.2 in October, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday. The headline figure is in line with an economist poll by Reuters this week, and confirms a trend toward recovering growth in the world’s second-largest economy. A PMI reading below 50 suggests growth slowed, while a number above 50 indicates accelerating growth. While growth accelerated for large firms for the third month in a row, medium and smaller companies saw a retrenchment, with the decline more pronounced for the smaller firms, the [...]

Your 16-year-old wants a credit card for essential shopping trips and school excursions. That way, she explains ever so reasonably, she doesn’t have to carry wads of cash or drag you along to the mall, and she’s covered in case of an emergency. Meanwhile, you envision wild spending sprees and whopping credit card bills. Should parents ever add teens as secondary card holders to their accounts? The answer depends on a variety of factors, and there is no correct answer for everyone. Here’s what you should consider: Financial experience before credit card Children who have handled a savings account, earned [...]

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