90 seconds at 9am: US confidence up; Greek bond failure; Irish bank shock; NAB to buy AXA Aust/NZ

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Bernard Hickey details the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9am in association with BNZ, including news US consumer confidence rose in March to its highest level since May and US house prices rose, according to the Case Shiller index.

But markets were still nervous overnight after more bad news emerged from Europe. Standard and Poor’s cut Iceland’s local currency credit rating again and a Greek bond offering failed dismally. Greece offered a new 12 year bond but received bids for less than half the 1 billion euros offered.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, the scale of the property and banking disaster was laid bare overnight when the government revealed Ireland’s big banks needed capital injections of 31.8 bln euros.

Anglo Irish Bank will need a big government bailout while Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish will also need capital injections The Finance Minister there described the situation as ‘truly shocking’.

Meanwhile, National Australia Bank, which owns BNZ, has finalised a deal to buy Axa’s Australian and New Zealand operations for A$4.6 bln, but it still needs Australian Competition authority approval.

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