Daily Afternoon Report 20/05/2015
The U.S. dollar erased gains against its Canadian counterpart today, pulling back from a one-month high as sentiment on the greenback weakened ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy statement later in the day. U.S Dollar had strengthened after the U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday that the number of building permits issued last month increased by 10.1% last month to 1.143 million units from March’s total of 1.038 million. The report also showed that U.S. housing starts soared by 20.2% in April to hit 1.135 million units from March’s total of 944,000 units, easily surpassing expectations for an increase of 9.9%.
Investors were eyeing the minutes of the Fed’s April meeting, due later in the day, for fresh indications on the timing of an initial rate hike.
Elsewhere, in Canada, official data today showed that wholesale sales rose 0.8% in March, disappointing expectations for an increase of 0.9%, after a 0.4% fall the previous month.
Elsewhere, Euro weakened as Athens was still scrambling to reach an agreement with its international lenders over economic reforms they say must be implemented before the final €7.2 billion tranche of the country’s €240 billion bailout is released.
Greece is due to make a €305 million payment to the International Monetary Fund on June 5, but will default if a deal is not reached by then. The euro was also hit after senior European Central Bank policymaker Benoit Coeure said yesterday that the central bank is planning to speed up the pace of its bond-buying stimulus program before the summer in order to avoid the “notably lower market liquidity” in late July and August.