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World markets fall on weak US housing

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Joshua Lott/Reuters

(Read caption) A worker constructed a house Tuesday in Gilbert, Ariz. Applications for home building permits fell by the largest amount since the spring.

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•Weak housing fallout: World markets faltered in the wake of weak US housing data. Home-building permits fell by the largest amount in five months, the Commerce Department had reported, a discouraging signal for US economic recovery -- and markets from Europe to Asia.

•Luxury sales: In China, the market for high-end goods is expected to surge by 12 percent this year, bucking the downward trend seen in other major economies buffeted by the financial crisis. The world's largest markets -- the US and Japan -- are forecast to see sales drop by 16 percent and 10 percent respectively.

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