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August 28, 2018

Orbex, Market Movers - Important economic events from last week

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The U.S. dollar was see trading on the back foot for the most part last week.

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This article is originally referred from Orbex Market Review.

After posting fresh yearly highs, the U.S. dollar index gave back most of the gains.

The declines came following the U.S. President Trump’s comments about the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates.

The FOMC also released its meeting minutes last week.

The minutes did not offer any new information. However, the minutes showed that Fed officials were concerned that the trade policies could potentially impact the U.S. economy.

New Zealand retail sales rises more than expected

The second quarter retail sales report from New Zealand showed that retail spending surpassed expectations.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, New Zealand’s retail sales during the second quarter jumped 1.1%, data from Statistics New Zealand showed last week.

This was higher than the median estimates.

Economists polled had forecast that retail sales would rise just 0.4% during the second quarter.

Previous quarter’s data was revised from 0.1% to 0.3%. The core retail sales also posted solid gains, rising 1.4% on the quarter. Economists had forecast that core retail sales would rise 0.8% during the same period.

New Zealand retail sales Q2 y/y 2018: 1.1% (Source: Tradingeconomics)

According to the official data, 11 out of 15 retail industries had shown higher sales volumes.

Sectors such as hardware, building and garden supplies showed the biggest jump, rising 4.7% during the quarter.

This was following a 0.6% increase in the previous quarter.

Sales at department stores increased 2.8% while food and beverage services gained 1.7%.

This came after the food and beverage sector showed a 1.0% decline in the first quarter.

Electrical and electronic goods rose 2.0% making notable increases. Fuel sales however posted a drag declining 0.7%. This marked the fourth consecutive quarterly decline. The retail sales report was certainly positive. However it is unlikely that the report will have any major impact on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s monetary policy decision.

U.S. existing home sales fall for the fourth month

The monthly existing home sales report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) last week showed a decline for the fourth consecutive month.

The declines came amid limited inventory for affordable housing wich sidelined buyers alongside rising prices for existing homes.

The data showed that existing home sales declined 0.7% in July on a seasonally adjusted basis of 5.34 million units. The data missed estimates which forecast an increase of 0.6% during the period.

On a yearly basis, existing home sales are now down 1.5% for the period ending July.

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist from NAR said that July was the first month since 2013 when existing home sales had declined for four consecutive months.

The data underlined the fact that there were difficulties for prospective home owners despite strong economic growth.

Furthermore, rising mortgage rates as the Fed continues to hike interest rates also played a role, according to Yun.

The average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage fixed rate was seen rising 4.53% higher up from January and 3.97% higher compared to the year before.

The biggest declines came from sale of low end homes which were priced less than $100,00.

This sector alone fell 11% on an annualized basis. Meanwhile, sales of higher end homes, priced above $1 million or more increased 16%.

Purchases of previously owned homes account for the bulk of U.S. home-buying activity.

ECB Meeting minutes

German economic growth was seen exceeding median expectations for the second quarter.

The gains in the economy came on an increase in domestic demand and rising optimism among the financial markets which strengthened despite trade tensions rising with the U.S. and China.

The data came as the growth in the Eurozone was also seen coming out higher during the second quarter, up from the initial estimates.

Official data showed that the largest economy in the Euroarea grew at a pace of 0.5%.

This followed a revised GDP from the first quarter which was increased to 0.4%. The growth rate was seen expanding at a pace of 0.4%.

On an annual basis, the GDP was seen rising at a pace of 2.3% which came following a 1.4% increase in the first quarter. On a calendar adjusted basis, the GDP advanced to 2.0% from 2.1% previously.

Original Source: Orbex Market Review

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