Consumer sentiment on the rise in the US, falling in Australia
Asian stock markets were buoyed on Friday’s reports a private index on US consumer sentiment rose to the highest level in more than two years in Jun-2010. Earlier, The Conference Board noted that its US Consumer Confidence Index posted a third consecutive monthly gain in May-2010, noting that although the reading is still weak by historical levels, sentiment “appears to be gaining some traction”. All eyes will be on the Jun-2010 numbers.
Australian consumer sentiment falls sharply
The picture in Australia is much different. The Jun-2010 Westpac–Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Survey released showed a “marked shift” in consumer confidence – reflecting concerns raised last month by Virgin Blue in its latest profit warning.
Westpac noted the “widespread optimism apparent at the start of the year has evaporated, giving way to a much more sombre mood”, adding “consumer sentiment has provided critical early warning signs in the past. Most recently, it was the first indicator to show a decisive weakening in 2008”.
Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 14-Jun-2010