17/02/2017 - US Housing Market On Steady Path

USD

In a sign that construction is on a steady path for 2017, builders started work on more US homes than forecast in January after an upward revision to starts in the prior month. Residential starts amounted to an annualized 1.25 million, easing from 1.28 million in the previous month, a Commerce Department report showed Thursday.
 
The housing market recovery is being driven by the strong labour market, which is boosting employment opportunities for younger people and supporting the formation of households. Higher mortgage rates moving forward could, however, slow demand for housing.

EUR

In a speech yesterday, Benoit Coeure, a member of the executive board of the European Central Bank (ECB), said that the removal of non-tariff barriers to trade could give a big boost to trade. Couere believes that “gains from trade are likely to be quite large” if countries can remove impediments to free trade, and “reducing real and financial integration via harsh protectionism is tantamount to destroying machines, as the Luddites did during the industrial revolution.”
 
While many economists tend to point to the benefits of globalisation, protectionist politicians around the world, such as Donald Trump, have taken advantage of discontent over the effects of international trade. Politicians and policymakers are facing a growing backlash against globalisation, with the likes of Marine Le Pen in France threatening to leave the Euro and stop the free movement of people, which is one of the central pillars of the EU.
 
The managing director of BDI, one of the Germany's major industry groups, has said that firms in Germany want to maintain strong ties with the UK once it departs the EU. Markus Kerber said "Ideally, we would have a deep and comprehensive partnership agreement on investment and trade," and warned that the fallout from Brexit could disrupt business for German firms, who are currently facing uncertainty regarding how trade with the UK will look beyond 2019.
 
In 2015, €175bn (£148.5bn) worth of trade in goods and services flowed between Germany and the UK, and more than 2,200 German companies currently operate in the UK, employing 370,000 people.

Key Announcements

9:30 AM – GBP : Retails sales month on month, forecast at 1% against a previous of -1.9%