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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Worst seen past for world economy, Australia surprises ]

Worst seen past for world economy, Australia surprises

Worst seen past for world economy, Australia surprises
June 03, 2009 - By Wayne Cole and Brian Moss (Reuters)

Modest but surprising growth in Australia, a jump in U.S. pending home sales and steadying confidence among global consumers added to evidence the world economy, while not rebounding, has come through the worst of the slump.

Stocks in Asia edged up on Wednesday, holding near nine-month highs, but investors were wary about whether recent advances could be extended.

"There's been enough improvement in the global economy to say that we've put the worst-case scenario behind us, but we still need more proof that things are really improving," said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

Policymakers have added their cautious backing to the view that the economic slump that swept the world last year was abating.

Bank of Japan policy board member Hidetoshi Kamezaki said on Wednesday that while the bank may need to take swift steps to further support the economy, the global economy should start recovering by year-end.

Australia's economy grew a stronger-than-expected 0.4 percent in the first quarter as the best trade performance in almost half a century helped offset a slump in business and housing investment.

Australia has fared better than most countries during the financial crisis and its aftermath, but investment remains weak and the prospect of rising jobless numbers means it is not out of the woods yet.

"We've dodged the recession bullet for the time being, but in reality we've had five quarters of sub-trend growth and unemployment has gone up in that period," said Michael Blythe, chief economist at Commonwealth Bank.


The Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates on hold at 3 percent on Tuesday, saying there were signs of improvement and the full impact of its earlier cuts had not come through yet.

Indonesia's central bank was expected to cut interest by 25 basis points later on Wednesday, but analysts believe this could mark the end of the easing cycle in Southeast Asia's largest economy as domestic demand and commodity prices pick up.

Global stock markets have surged since March, fuelled by recovery hopes, which have also powered up prices for oil, copper and other commodities.

The advance slowed on Wednesday, with Japan's Nikkei average up 0.4 percent, stocks elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific up 0.8 percent and oil easing after jumping 30 percent in May alone.

"Our macro outlook is the economic data may be improving, or at least the rate of deterioration has slowed, but we're looking for a sluggish recovery next year, globally," RBS Australia's equity strategist Greg Goodsell said.

"I'm just not sure there's enough energy in that from an economic perspective to drive a full-on bull market rally."

Major U.S. indexes rose by a modest 0.2 to 0.4 percent on Tuesday, buoyed by surprisingly strong housing data.

The Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on new sales contracts, rose to 90.3 in April from 84.6 in March.

It was the third straight monthly increase and the largest since October 2001.

A survey by Ipsos and Reuters found global consumer confidence stabilizing after an 18-month fall, providing a further glimmer of hope for a world economy in which three quarters of households have cut spending.

In another critical sector of the U.S. economy under pressure from the recession, auto sales fell by about 30 percent in May from a year earlier but at a lower annual rate than expected, making May the best sales month of 2009.

And Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co and several other banks said they raised more than $19 billion as lenders scrambled to show regulators they can function without government support. "The market ... seems to be making an assessment that credit problems are manageable and that the environment is improving," said Gary Townsend, co-founder of Hill-Townsend Capital in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Bu there were still signs of weakness for those who were looking for them.

Unemployment in the euro zone jumped to a near 10-year high and U.S. business bankruptcies jumped 40 percent from a year ago.

Revised euro zone GDP figures due later on Wednesday are expected to show the region's economy slumped by 2.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year, while producer prices probably fell further in April, according to analysts.

(Source: Financial Mirror,

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