Last week, which Economic Events impacted the Market Trends and How? Let’s find out!
This article is originally referred from Orbex Market Review.
The Euro currency was seen posting strong losses after the ECB’s decision to end its QE in December was offset by the dovish statement on interest rates.
The U.S. dollar was also seen easing back into the end of the week.
This came amid the Fed hiking interest rates by 25 basis points and signaling two more rate hikes for this year.
The markets were seen trading mostly mixed with the BoJ also staying on the sidelines this week for its monetary policy decision.
U.S. housing starts rise while building permits fall
Data from the housing market released last week showed a contrasting picture.
While housing starts rebounded to the highest level since 2007 last month in May, building permits rose at a slower pace.
Data showed that housing starts surged 5.0% in May compared to the month before to an annually adjusted rate of 1.35 million.
This was the highest level registered since July 2007.
However, building permits which signal the amount of construction work in the pipeline declined 4.6% on the month to 1.30 million, data from the Commerce Department showed last week.
Economists polled, expected to see an increase of 1.8% on housing starts while forecasting a 0.1% decline in building permits.
Most of the gains in the housing starts came from increased building activity in the midwest region.
This came amid construction activity in the region rising 62.2% which was the strongest month over month growth in over four years.
Building permits were driven lower due to declines in the South and Western regions.
The overall trend showed that construction activity in the housing market overall increased at a pace of 11.0% in the first five months of 2018.
Building permits on the other hand were revised only slightly to 1.36 million up from 1.35 million as previously recorded.
Housing starts gains came from increase in single and multi family construction units.
Building permits on the other hand fell in both the categories suggesting what could be an upcoming slowdown in the construction sector.
The data also underlined the fact that the construction sector has enjoyed a solid pace of job and wage gains which are supporting the demand for housing.
However, partly offsetting the games came from an increase in material costs and labor shortages.
Bank of England holds policy steady
The Bank of England held its monetary policy meeting on Thursday last week.
As widely expected, the central bank held its key interest rates unchanged at 0.50%.
However, there was a surprise as the decision to leave interest rates steady came with three dissenting votes.
Joining the usual hawks of Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders, the Bank of England’s Chief economist, Andrew Haldane also voted in favor of a rate hike at last week’s meeting to hike interest rates from the current 0.50% to 0.75%.
The Bank of England also gave a surprise tweak to its forward guidance on its QE program.
The central bank said that it will begin to unwind the QE purchases once interest rates reach 1.50%.
Markets were expecting that the BoE would only unwind when interest rates reach 2.0%.
Officials were hopeful at last week’s monetary policy meeting that the weakness in the first quarter was only temporary and noted that an improvement in the UK’s economy could potentially set the stage for the central bank to hike rates as early as August.
New Zealand GDP advances 0.5% on the quarter
Data from New Zealand released last week showed that the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) advanced at a pace of 0.5% in the first three months on the year.
This brought the annual GDP growth rate to 2.7%.
The data were in line with the median forecasts which expected the GDP to advance 0.5% on the quarter.
However, the first quarter GDP was seen slightly lower compared to 0.6% gains registered in the final quarter of 2017.
Primary sectors in the industry were seen advancing 0.6% in the quarter ending March 2018 mostly on account of increased activity in the agricultural sector.
This was a modest rebound following a 2.6% decline posted in the previous quarter.
Domestic household spending remained flat compared to the quarter before but house-holding spending overseas increased 2.9% marking the highest quarterly growth since December 2016 quarter.
Original Source: Orbex Market Review