Overseas Headlines – March 21, 2017


U.S. Stocks Rise as Dollar Falls With Treasuries: Markets Wrap
U.S. stocks halted a three-day slide, while the dollar extended its decline as Fed officials weighed the pace of borrowing-cost hikes. The euro rose to the strongest in more than a month after a French presidential debate eased concern about a populist win in the election. Technology shares led gains in the S&P 500 Index, while European equities got a lift from lenders. The euro strengthened after centrist Emmanuel Macron was widely judged to have come out on top in the televised contest. That helped send the greenback lower for a fifth day. Developing-nation equities extended a winning streak to eight days. Sterling surged after data showed U.K. inflation rose faster than expected.


U.K. Inflation Gains More Than Forecast, Breaching BOE Goal
U.K. inflation accelerated more than economists forecast in February, breaking through the Bank of England’s target for the first time in more than three years. The 2.3 percent increase in the consumer prices index was the fastest since September 2013 and above the median prediction for 2.1 percent. The rate is up from just 0.3 percent a year ago, reflecting sterling’s 17 percent drop since the Brexit vote in June, as well as an increase in oil prices.


China business confidence index rises in Q1 – cbank survey
Business confidence among entrepreneurs in China improved in the first quarter of 2017 from the fourth quarter last year, according to a survey by the People’s Bank of China published on Tuesday. Another central bank survey showed bankers’ confidence also rose in the first quarter, though 20.3 percent of bankers believe monetary policy was "relatively tight" in the Jan-March period, up 14.6 percentage point from the fourth quarter. In another central bank survey, 52.2 percent of urban households believed housing prices were "unacceptably high" in the first quarter, and 27.2 percent of households expect housing prices to rise in the second quarter this year.