US home sales rise for second month
NEW US single-family home sales rose for a second straight month in April and supply was the lowest in a year, but an overhang of previously owned homes on the market will stifle any housing market recovery.
The US Commerce Department said sales increased 7.3pc to a seasonally adjusted 323,000 unit annual rate, the highest level since December, while prices also rose. Economists had expected sales to increase by 300,000 units.
However, compared to April last year, sales were down 23.1pc. An oversupply of used houses and a relentless wave of foreclosed properties are curbing the market for new homes, even as builders are keeping lean inventories.
Ormonde Mining heralds next stage
ORMONDE Mining said it narrowed losses last year, as it moved closer to "its primary objective of becoming a major tungsten producer and generating cash flow from our flagship Barruecopardo Tungsten Project in Salamanca Province, Spain".
"This project has now advanced successfully from the exploration stage into the definitive feasibility study and permitting stages," said chairman Michael Donoghue.
The company booked a loss after tax of €1.08m in 2010, compared to a €1.57m loss in 2009. That figure translated into a loss per share of 0.0043c.
"The Company now looks forward to the mine development and production stages and is positioning itself to be in a position to fund the mine capital once the feasibility study is completed later this year," said Mr Donoghue.
SAC hedge fund inquiry stepped up
US SENATOR Charles Grassley has stepped up his inquiry into trading at the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors.
In a letter sent yesterday to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Grassley asked the agency to provide him with details about how it resolved referrals about SAC's trading activity.
Mr Grassley is examining 20 stock trades by the hedge fund recently provided to him by the Financial Indus-try Regulatory Authority, which last month received a request from Mr Grassley to provide information on the "potential scope of suspicious trading activity" at SAC, run by the billionaire investor Steven A Cohen.