ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
The report is focused on three subregions in Southeast Asia: the Mekong subregion encompassing Cambodia, parts of China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam; the Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand growth triangle; and a growth area linking Brunei, the Indonesian and Malaysian parts of the island of Borneo, and parts of the Philippines.
Some $170 billion will be needed for the development of infrastructure in the three subregions, of which about $100 billion is expected to come from public funding — from either governments or the ADB — and $70 billion from public and private sector partnerships.
This combined with the strong Wall St rally will see the ASEAN, Indian and Chinese markets rally strongly on Monday.In USA trading over night
Standout sectors included financial, energy, big manufacturing and technology stocks.
The tech advance put the Nasdaq on course for its highest close in 18 months. The semiconductor index was up 1.6 per cent, while the KBW Bank index shot up 2.3 per cent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 122.13 points, or 1.2 percent, to 10,566.27. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 15.65 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 1138.62. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 33.40 points, or 1.5 per cent, to 2325.71.
Borrowing by U.S. consumers unexpectedly rose in January for the first time in a year, led by auto loans and a sign Americans are gaining confidence in the economy.
Consumer credit increased $5 billion, or 2.4 percent at an annual rate, the Federal Reserve said today in Washington. Borrowing dropped $4.6 billion in December, more than first estimated. The figures track credit card debt and non-revolving loans, including those for automobile purchases.
Stocks extended gains after the report also indicated that banks may becoming more willing to lend as the economy recovers from the worst recession since World War II. Growth may get a bigger lift from consumer purchases that account for about 70 percent of the economy when companies start to hire.
“Spending is holding up,” said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s in New York. “People are feeling a little bit more comfortable. They’re sticking their heads out of the shell a little more.”
Stocks gained for a sixth day and Treasury securities fell after a smaller-than-estimated loss of jobs in February. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1.3 percent to 1,137.51 at 3:33 p.m. in New York. The 10-year Treasury note declined, pushing up the yield eight basis points to 3.68 percent.
Economists had forecast consumer credit would drop by $4.5 billion in January after a previously reported $1.7 billion decrease in December, according to the median of 33 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Projections ranged from a decrease of $12.3 billion to an increase of $2.4 billion.
The January gain in credit was the biggest since July 2008.
Revolving debt, such as credit cards, fell by $1.7 billion in January, according to the Fed’s statistics. Revolving credit has fallen 16 straight months, the longest series of declines since the Fed began keeping those records in 1968. The January drop was the smallest since July.
Non-revolving debt, including automobile and mobile-home loans, rose by $6.6 billion after a $4.9 billion gain. The Fed’s report doesn’t cover borrowing secured by real estate.
Auto sales in the U.S. cooled in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 10.8 million, according to industry statistics. The pace slowed in February to 10.36 million.
Consumer spending during the final three months of last year rose at a 1.7 percent annual rate following an increase of 2.8 percent in the third quarter, Commerce Department figures showed on Feb. 26. Spending contributed to economic growth of 5.9 percent at annual rate, the best performance in more than six years.
A gain in February sales at retailers open at least a year indicates sustained spending by consumers. Comparable-store sales climbed 4.1 percent, according to Retail Metrics Inc. It was the sixth straight gain and the biggest in 27 months.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said yesterday that sales rose 5 percent, while Macy’s Inc., the second-biggest U.S. department- store company, reported a 3.7 percent gain.
“The consumer is starting to come out of hibernation and feel better about their situation,” Ken Perkins, president of Swampscott, Massachusetts-based Retail Metrics, said yesterday in an interview. More than three-fourths of retailers in the Retail Metrics survey beat estimates, he said.
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