Overseas Headlines – July 19, 2017


U.S. housing starts jump to four-month high

U.S. homebuilding rebounded more than expected in June after declining for three straight months, but construction activity remains constrained by rising lumber prices and labor and land shortages. Housing starts jumped 8.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million units, the highest level since February, as both single-family and multi-family construction increased, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. May’s sales pace was revised up to 1.12 million units from the previously reported 1.09 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast groundbreaking activity rising to a rate of 1.16 million units last month. Homebuilding rose 2.1 percent on a year-on-year basis.




Euro Retreats as ECB Meets; Earnings Boost Stocks: Markets Wrap

The euro retraced some recent gains as European policy makers gathered in Frankfurt before Thursday’s rate decision. The region’s equities got a lift from corporate results, while oil fluctuated. It was a day of reversing trends, with the common currency coming off the highest close since August 2015 as investors weighed the European Central Bank’s plans for stimulus measures and the possibility of a change of tone when the decision is announced. The greenback steadied after the implosion of the U.S. health-care reform bill sent it to the lowest since September a day earlier. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced following its largest drop this month. Electrolux AB and ASML Holding NV were among gainers after reporting earnings. Investors will be closely watching Europe’s central bank — as well as the Bank of Japan — this week for clues on the fate of easy monetary policies that have helped stoke growth and spur equity markets to record highs. Amid mixed economic data, anemic inflation numbers and a U.S. administration struggling to implement its agenda, traders may be forgiven for reassessing hawkish expectations.




China central bank official says new committee set up to coordinate “chaotic” financial market

China’s new financial stability committee will help to coordinate on financial reform and regulation of markets as well as monetary and industrial policy, a central bank official told the official People’s Daily in an interview published Tuesday. The committee was set up because financial oversight in China is not coordinated, said Lu Lei, who heads the financial stability department at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). There has been a lack of supervision of the market, he said, describing the situation as “full of chaos”. Chinese President Xi Jinping said over the weekend that China would set up a Financial Stability and Development Committee under the State Council, or cabinet. Regulators oversee different parts of China’s complex financial sector, and no singular regulator has complete visibility of capital movements in the system.