Overseas Headlines – October 31, 2017


 Home-Price Gains in 20 U.S. Cities Showed Acceleration in August

Home values have continued to increase steadily across the U.S. as buyers compete for a limited supply of available homes. Asking prices have grown faster than incomes, pushing down homeownership rates across the country. Those trying to enter the market have felt the price increases most acutely, as a separate report showed first-time buyers of previously owned homes matched the lowest in two years in September. The aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma will probably mean even higher values because of constricted supplies in Texas and Florida. That’s on top of unemployment at a 16-year low and still-cheap mortgage costs that support prices and purchases.




 U.K. Demands More Frequent Brexit Talks to Force Progress

Brexit Secretary David Davis will brief Theresa May’s cabinet on Tuesday on contingency plans in case negotiations collapse, as the U.K. seeks to intensify talks with the European Union in an attempt to break the deadlock. Davis has proposed a different structure to the negotiations in the hope that it will help both sides to make the necessary compromises on the divorce terms for talks to move on to trade, a person familiar with the U.K. position said Monday. The U.K. wants more discussions on an ongoing basis and to move away from the current pattern of four-day sessions held once a month in Brussels, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the strategy is private. Regardless of the negotiating structure, only compromises on both sides will deliver the progress needed to break the logjam, the person said.




 BOJ keeps policy steady, board newcomer signals desire for easing

The Bank of Japan kept policy settings steady on Tuesday but a board newcomer called for clearer commitment to ramp up stimulus if necessary, potentially complicating future efforts by the central bank to dial back its massive monetary support. With inflation still distant from his 2 percent target, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda stressed that he saw no immediate need to exit its ultra-easy policy even as other major central banks have started to unwind their crisis-era monetary programs. Acknowledging the rising costs and diminishing returns of his stimulus program, however, Kuroda signaled the chance of slowing the BOJ’s exchange-traded fund (ETF) buying before embarking on a full-fledged withdrawal of stimulus.