Overseas Headlines- February 12, 2020

February 12, 2020

United States:

U.S. Home-Refinancing Applications Hit Highest Level Since 2013

“Falling mortgage rates are spurring a surge in U.S. homeowners seeking to refinance their loans to lock in lower payments. A gauge of mortgage refinancing volume rose 5% last week to the highest level since June 2013, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association report Wednesday that also showed such transactions accounted for 65.5% of all applications, the most in almost five years.”




Europe’s Hopes for a Trade Truce Turnaround Prove Fleeting

“Europe’s industrial engines were supposed to be turning the corner with the new year. The U.S.-China trade truce announced in December was supposed to ease uncertainty and revitalize demand for capital goods, consumer durables and energy in the world’s two largest economies and beyond. The U.K. was about to ditch the European Union with nary a noticeable disruption.”



Hong Kong Landlords Start to Slash Retail Rents as Virus Bites

“Hong Kong’s biggest landlords have begun to slash rents for their commercial tenants as retailers struggle amid the spreading coronavirus. Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., the city’s largest developer by market value, will reduce rents for February by 30% to as much as 50% for some of its mall tenants to help them ride out the impact from the disease, the company said in a statement Wednesday.”


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