U.S. New Home Sales Spike To More Than Twelve-Year High In January

Trading 26 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Partly reflecting sharp increases in the Midwest and West, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing new home sales in the U.S. jumped to their highest level in over twelve years in the month of January.

The report said new home sales spiked by 7.9 percent to an annual rate of 764,000 in January after jumping by 2.3 percent to an upwardly revised rate of 708,000 in December.

Economists had expected new home sales to surge up by 2.3 percent to an annual rate of 710,000 from the 694,000 originally reported for the previous month.

With the much bigger than expected increase, new home sales reached their highest annual rate since hitting 778,000 in July of 2007.

The jump in new home sales came as sales in the Midwest and West soared by 30.3 percent and 23.5 percent, respectively.

New home sales in the Northeast also shot up by 4.8 percent, while new home sales in the South tumbled by 4.4 percent.

The Commerce Department also said the median sales price of new houses sold was a record high $348,200 in January, up 7.4 percent from $324,100 in December and up 14 percent from $305,400 in the same month a year ago.

A note from economists at Oxford Economics said the jump in prices was partly due to a "shift in the composition of sales toward higher-priced homes."

"Homebuilders have been reducing the sizes of new homes to appeal to younger buyers with more moderate incomes, but there is probably still a lack of supply at lower price points," the economists said.

The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 324,000, representing 5.1 months of supply at the current sales rate. The months of supply is down from 5.5 months in December.

Last Friday, the National Association of Realtors released a separate report showing existing home sales pulled back in January after jumping in December, with sales continuing a fluctuating pattern of monthly increases and declines.

NAR said existing home sales slumped by 1.3 percent to an annual rate of 5.46 million in January after surging up by 3.9 percent to a revised rate of 5.53 million in December. Economists had expected existing home sales to tumble by 1.8 percent.


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German Economy To Grow Just 0.1% In Q1 As Coronavirus Outbreak Weighs: DIW

Trading 26 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Germany's economy is set to grow a modest 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020 as the industrial sector is set to remain sluggish and the spread of the coronavirus across the world dampen business sentiment, the DIW think tank said Wednesday. The DIW economic barometer fell by four points to a level of 89 in February. Latest data from Destatis confirmed on Tuesday that the economy stagnated in the final quarter of 2019, amid weaker private consumption and a slump in exports. The spread of the corona virus can disrupt supply chains and temporarily dampen the spending plans of businesses, DIW said. "So far, however, the corona effect has been unclear and cannot be quantified," DIW economic director Claus Michelsen said.

"One thing is certain: The export-dependent German industry would be particularly affected if the virus continued to spread worldwide."


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*U.S. Crude Oil Inventories Inch Up By 500,000 Barrels In Week Ended 2/21

Trading 26 fév 2020 Commentaire »

U.S. Crude Oil Inventories Inch Up By 500,000 Barrels In Week Ended 2/21


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*U.S. New Home Sales Spike 7.9% In January

Trading 26 fév 2020 Commentaire »

U.S. New Home Sales Spike 7.9% In January


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Turkish Lira Slides To 9-1/2 Month Low Versus U.S. Dollar

Trading 26 fév 2020 Commentaire »

The Turkish Lira dropped against the U.S. dollar in the European session on Wednesday, as the threat of a global coronavirus pandemic grew.

Five European countries have reported cases linked to Italy, while new cases soared in South Korea, with an American soldier in the country becoming the first U.S. serviceman to be infected.

The Turkish Lira fell to a 9-1/2 month low of 6.1632 versus the greenback from Tuesday's closing value of 6.0891. Next likely support for the currency is seen around the 6.5 level.


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*Turkish Lira Slides To 9-1/2 Month Low Of 6.1632 Versus U.S. Dollar

Trading 26 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Turkish Lira Slides To 9-1/2 Month Low Of 6.1632 Versus U.S. Dollar


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Hong Kong Sees Record Budget Deficit, Unveils Stimulus

Trading 26 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Hong Kong unveiled a record high budget deficit for the next fiscal year as the government plans to implement counter-cyclical measures of a massive scale of over HK$120 billion to kickstart the economy that sunk into recession after political unrest, and whose outlook is further damped by the coronavirus outbreak.

In his 2020-21 budget speech, Finance Secretary Paul Chan said the fiscal deficit for next year will rise to HK$139.1 billion, accounting for 4.8 percent of GDP.

Deficits are mainly caused by the fact that government revenue cannot keep up with drastic increases in government expenditure, said Chan.

The government runs a fiscal deficit of HK$37.8 billion for 2019-20, the first time deficit for Hong Kong over the past 15 years. This was equivalent to around 1.3 percent of GDP.

Chan said four rounds of relief measures costing over HK$30 billion together with another HK$30 billion Anti-epidemic Fund established in response to the recent novel coronavirus outbreak, was the major reason for the 2019-20 deficit.

He unveiled a slew of tax breaks and relief measures to overcome current challenging environment. The government introduced a concessionary low-interest loan for SMEs and reduced profits tax.

In order to increase local consumption, he announced a HK$10,000 cash payout to Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above, totaling roughly 7 million people.

The economy contracted 1.2 percent in the whole year of 2019, which was the first annual fall since the great recession of 2009. thus, the earlier estimates were confirmed.

The economy contracted 2.9 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2019 after a 2.8 percent shrinkage in the previous three months.

The Hong Kong economy thus entered a technical recession, which is defined as two consecutive quarters of GDP decline.

The quarterly year-on-year decline in GDP was driven by a 25 percent slump in exports and a 16.2 percent fall in gross fixed capital formation.

Having regard to the stimulus effect of the fiscal measures, Chan forecast the economy to grow by -1.5 percent to 0.5 percent in real terms in 2020.

According to Chan, the economy will expand by an average of 2.8 percent per annum in real terms from 2021 to 2024, which is below its potential.

Headline inflation and underlying inflation are expected to ease to 1.7 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, in 2020.


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UK Shop Prices Fall Further On Promotions: BRC

Trading 26 fév 2020 Commentaire »

UK shop prices declined at a faster pace in February as weak demand forced further promotion, data from the British Retail Consortium showed on Wednesday.

The BRC-Nielsen shop price index declined 0.6 percent versus a 0.3 percent fall in January.

Non-food prices fell at the highest rate since May 2018. Non-food prices decreased at a higher pace in February, down 1.9 percent compared to -1.5 percent in January. At the same time, food inflation was steady at 1.6 percent.

The decline in prices was driven by weak consumer demand and intense competition, which led many retailers to prolong their January sales, Helen Dickinson, chief executive at BRC, said.

In contrast, some non-perishables, such as cereals, have caused overall food prices to rise. This is likely to worsen as global food prices have been growing at a double-digit rate for the past three months, Dickinson added.


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Austria Manufacturing PMI At 12-month High

Trading 26 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Austria's manufacturing sector expanded in February, marking the best performance in a year, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.

The headline UniCredit Bank Austria manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.2 in February from 49.2 in January. This was the highest score in twelve months.

Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Output grew for the first time in ten months in February and employment rose for the first time in eight months.

Input lead times lengthened for first time in twelve months in February, due to the coronavirus disruption.

New orders decreased for the fourteenth month in a row. The rate of decline in order book volumes grew slightly amid a renewed drop in new export orders.

Business confidence rose to the highest since June 2018.

The decline in manufacturers' buying levels eased to the weakest in the current twelve-month sequence of contraction.

Post-production inventories decreased at a solid and accelerated rate in February, that was the quickest for over two years and stock of purchases fell slightly.

On the price front, input costs declined for the ninth month in a row in February and output charges were stabilized, falling marginally and at the slowest rate in the eight-month sequence of decline.


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Gold Prices Rise After US Warning On Spread Of Virus

Trading 26 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Gold prices rose on Wednesday amid worries that the coronavirus could spread rapidly across the world and become a pandemic.

Spot gold climbed 0.85 percent to $1,649.08, after having fallen as much as 1.9 percent in the previous session. U.S. gold futures were marginally higher at $1,651.35.

The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases in South Korea topped 1,100 and outbreaks in Italy and Iran spread to more countries, raising concerns about the impact of the outbreak on global growth.

The flu-like virus has now spread to several countries in Europe and the Middle East, with Switzerland, Austria and Romania reporting their first infections on Tuesday.

The United States alerted Americans on Tuesday to begin preparing for the "inevitable" spread of the coronavirus disease that is sweeping the world.

There are 53 confirmed cases in the United States, and officials are calling on Congress to urgently pass billions of dollars to fund the response effort.

Investors are pinning hopes that the Federal Reserve will cut rates by at least 25 basis points at its June meeting.

Meanwhile, mainland China had 406 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the country's National Health Commission said, down from 508 cases a day earlier.


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