Strong bookings boost Ryanair’s hopes of return to normal By Reuters



© Reuters. A Ryanair plane takes off from Manchester Airport as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Manchester

By Conor Humphries

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair reported “very strong” bookings from holidaymakers as it relaunched its network with 1,000 flights on Wednesday, the start of a summer that Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary hopes will restore Europe’s confidence in air travel.

Europe’s largest low-cost carrier has been flying a skeleton service since the COVID-19 pandemic closed down much of Europe in March. It was set to fly 105,000 passengers on Wednesday, almost as many as it flew in April and May combined.

O’Leary, one of the loudest advocates for a reopening of European air travel from COVID-19 restrictions, said he was hopeful the airline could go from 4.5 million passengers in July to as many as 6 million in August, around half its normal level.

“It’s a good start,” O’Leary told Reuters in an interview after the first 150 flights took off on time with all passengers wearing face masks.

“If we have a strong July and August with lots of families travelling on holidays … and recognising they can do it safely, I think we will see … a much more stable return to normal volumes from September onwards,” he said.

Critics say a return to widespread tourism in Europe could reverse major progress in tackling COVID-19.

Ireland’s outgoing health minister said on Wednesday he found himself “shouting at the radio” when another Ryanair executive said it was safe to travel despite the government advising against it.

O’Leary said he was confident Britain would this week announce an opening of travel with the European Union, ahead of a court case on Friday taken by Ryanair and rivals against the UK government’s 14-day quarantine.

“There is no scientific basis for it and we expect to get it overturned,” he said, adding Ireland’s chief medical officer was being “over-cautious” in advising against travel.

PRICING WEAK

O’Leary said bookings for the first couple of weeks of flights in July were “very strong” with August “reasonably strong.” September and October are a bit weaker at the moment, he added, as people wait to see how the situation develops.

Ticket prices have been weak for the summer and are likely to remain so.

“Certainly, for the next 12 months you are going to see lower-than-ever airfares, certainly on Ryanair,” O’Leary said.

While passenger numbers are likely to return to 2019 levels next year, it will probably take until 2022 or 2023 before ticket prices return to pre-pandemic levels, he predicted.

Ryanair has said it may cut up to 3,000 jobs among pilots and cabin crew, but O’Leary said he was “reasonably hopeful but not confident” it could agree pay cuts and changes to work practices to avoid most of them.

Some unions in continental Europe are “are sticking their heads in the sand,” he said.

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Virus fears lead futures lower after strong quarterly rebound By Reuters



© Reuters. The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York

By Pawel Goraj

(Reuters) – U.S. index futures dipped on the last trading day of the second quarter on Tuesday as coronavirus-related worries and simmering U.S.-China tensions weighed on sentiment at the end of what is expected to be the S&P 500’s best quarter since 1998.

The benchmark index has rebounded about 18% since April on a raft of fiscal and monetary stimulus and the easing of restrictions, but is still down about 5% on the year as a resurgence in coronavirus cases raises fears of another round of lockdowns.

With California and Texas marking a record spike in cases on Monday, investors are counting on more stimulus to shore up the domestic economy.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who is due to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee at 12:30 p.m. ET, said in prepared remarks that the outlook for the world’s biggest economy was “extraordinarily uncertain”.

Sino-U.S. tensions are also heating up again with Washington beginning to eliminate Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law in response to China’s national security law on the territory. China said on Tuesday it would retaliate.

Meanwhile, kicking off a data-heavy week for Wall Street, consumer confidence is expected to have climbed to 91.8 in June from 86.6 in May. Data on manufacturing activity and employment are due on Wednesday and Thursday.

At 6:57 a.m. ET, were down 66 points, or 0.26%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.15% and were down 6.25 points, or 0.06%.

In company news, Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:) jumped 5.3% in premarket trading as it forecast higher-than expected current-quarter revenue on higher demand for its chips that power notebooks and data centers.

Uber Technologies Inc (N:) rose 3.1% after reports said the ride-hailing services company was in talks to buy food-delivery app Postmates.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Dollar Weakens as Risk Sentiment Stays Strong By Investing.com



© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – The dollar has sold off in early European trade Wednesday, with riskier assets in demand as investors look for more fiscal stimulus amid signs of a global economic recovery.

At 3:05 AM ET (0705 GMT), the , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, stood at 97.362, down 0.3%, falling to levels last seen in the middle of March. was largely flat at 108.67.

traded 0.5% higher at 1.1220, trading above 1.12 for the first time since mid March, on hopes policymakers will continue to support the euro zone, despite the German government’s failure to agree on a second big stimulus package Tuesday. The region’s weakest economies are still struggling to recover from the measures used to combat the coronavirus outbreak, although the gradual reopening of the European economy continued Wednesday as Italy lifted its quarantine regulations for visitors.

The European Central Bank is expected to increase its 750 billion euro  ($840 billion) Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program, on Thursday, probably by around 500 billion euros.

has also posted gains against the U.S. dollar, up 0.5% at 1.2606, above 1.26 for the first time since mid April, in sympathy with a rally in global equity prices amidst steadily improving investor sentiment regarding the global exit from lockdown.

That said, the U.K. and EU still appear far from a solution to avoid a big disruption to trade after the post-Brexit transition period ends at the end of the year. The two sides started their last scheduled talks on the issue this week, and doubts remain about the likelihood of progress.

Earlier Wednesday, data showed that China’s services sector returned to growth last month for the first time since January.

traded 0.1% higher at 7.1089, but still off the 7.17 levels seen at the end of last week as the tensions between the U.S. and China were at their peak.

Additionally, the , often seen as a proxy bet on the strength of the Chinese economy, rose 0.6% to fetch $0.6938, hitting a five-month high against the greenback, despite the country’s GDP falling 0.3% during the first quarter of 2020, a second straight quarterly contraction.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Exclusive: Zoom plans to roll out strong encryption for paying customers


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Video conferencing provider Zoom (ZM.O) plans to strengthen encryption of video calls hosted by paying clients and institutions such as schools, but not by users of its free consumer accounts, a company official said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of diplayed Zoom logo in this illustration taken March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The company, whose business has boomed with the coronavirus pandemic, discussed the move on a call with civil liberties groups and child-sex abuse fighters on Thursday, and Zoom security consultant Alex Stamos confirmed it on Friday.

In an interview, Stamos said the plan was subject to change and it was not yet clear which, if any, nonprofits or other users, such as political dissidents, might qualify for accounts allowing more secure video meetings.

He added that a combination of technological, safety and business factors went into the plan, which drew mixed reactions from privacy advocates.

Zoom has attracted millions of free and paying customers amid the pandemic, in part because users could join a meeting – something that now happens 300 million times a day – without registering.

But that has allowed opportunities for troublemakers to slip into meetings, sometimes after pretending to be invitees.

Gennie Gebhart, a researcher with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who was on Thursday’s call, said she hoped Zoom would change course and offer protected video more widely.

But Jon Callas, a technology fellow of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the strategy seemed a reasonable compromise.

Safety experts and law enforcement have warned that sexual predators and other criminals are increasingly using encrypted communications to avoid detection.

“Those of us who are doing secure communication believe we need to do things about the real horrible stuff,” said Callas, who previously sold paid encryption services.

“Charging money for end-to-end encryption is a way to get rid of the riff-raff,” including spammers and other malicious users who take advantage of free services.

Zoom hired Stamos and other experts after a series of security failures led some institutions to ban its use. Last week Zoom released a technical paper on its encryption plans, without saying how widely they would reach.

“At the same time that Zoom is trying to improve security, they are also significantly upgrading their trust and safety,” said Stamos, a former chief security officer at Facebook.

“The CEO is looking at different arguments. The current plan is paid customers plus enterprise accounts where the company knows who they are.”

Full encryption for every meeting would leave Zoom’s trust and safety team unable to add itself as a participant in gatherings to tackle abuse in real time, Stamos added.

An end-to-end model, which means no one but the participants and their devices can see and hear what is happening, would also have to exclude people who call in from a telephone line.

From a business perspective, it is hard to earn money when offering a sophisticated and expensive encryption service for free. Facebook is planning to fully encrypt Messenger, but it earns enormous sums from its other services.

Other providers of encrypted communication either charge business users or act as nonprofits, such as the makers of Signal.

Zoom is also dealing with regulators such as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which is looking into its previous claims about encryption that have been criticized as exaggerated or false, said Stamos and another person familiar with the matter.

With the Justice Department and some members of Congress condemning strong encryption, Zoom could draw unwanted new attention through a major expansion in that area, privacy experts said.

An outside spokesman for Zoom, Nate Johnson, said its encryption was “a work in progress,” including the engineering design and “which customers it would apply to.”

Reporting by Joseph Menn; Editing by Leslie Adler and Clarence Fernandez



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IMF has strong resources to deal with virus crisis, working to identify more: officials By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen ahead of the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington

By Andrea Shalal and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The coronavirus pandemic is putting increasing strains on emerging market economies, but the International Monetary Fund has sufficient resources to meet their needs for now, IMF officials said on Wednesday.

The global lender is “quite a bit away” from exhausting its $1 trillion in total lending capacity and is working to identify new sources of funding and liquidity for member countries, the officials said during a conference call with reporters.

More than 80 member countries, mostly emerging markets, have already requested some $20 billion in emergency zero- and low-interest loans from the IMF, they said, and IMF staff was working to process those requests as quickly as possible.

“We see the crisis shifting to emerging markets. Low-income countries are now all seeing the pickup in infection rates that we’ve seen in China and the advanced economies,” said one of the officials. Funding needs were greater in some of those economies due to significant capital outflows and a sharp drop in commodities prices, the official added.

The virus has infected more than 878,000 people and killed 43,412 around the world.

In addition to existing programs, the IMF is looking at reviving a proposal for a short-term liquidity line that was developed several years ago, and could be quickly implemented if approved by members, the officials said.

There was also discussion about allocation of Special Drawing Rights, the currency of the IMF, much as was done in 2009, a move that would boost funding available for emerging market countries, they said, but that would take longer to implement.

While it was critical to help countries respond to the virus, the IMF could not deviate from its fundamental principles calling for debt to remain sustainable, said one of the officials.

The officials said there was broad support for a joint proposal by the IMF and the World Bank calling on official bilateral creditors to suspend debt service payments – also known as a standstill – for countries that needed help during the current crisis.

That did not mean the IMF was pressing for a broader round of debt forgiveness, said one of the officials.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Wall Street tells Trump financial system strong, ready to support borrowers


NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. banking industry is strong and ready to help businesses and consumers weather economic fallout from the fast-spreading coronavirus, Wall Street chief executives told President Donald Trump during a meeting at the White House on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump is followed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other members of his administration as they arive with Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) for a closed Senate Republican policy lunch meeting to discuss the response to the coronavirus outbreak with senators on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

“This is not a financial crisis. The banks and the financial system are in sound shape and we are here to help,” said Michael Corbat, chief executive of Citigroup (C.N), during the meeting, which was broadcast from the White House Cabinet Room.

“We want to provide liquidity, we want to lend to our small businesses, we want to be supporting our consumer clients,” he added.

The Trump administration in recent days has tapped regulators to assess financial resilience and unveiled a fiscal stimulus package in response to growing fears the spread of the highly contagious virus could push the U.S. economy into a recession.

Trump convened the executives on Wednesday to hear their views on the economy and proposed stimulus package, which includes potential tax relief, paid family leave and small business assistance. Parts of the plan will require Congressional approval.

“The first thing is to add that fiscal stimulus in the time of stress is absolutely the right answer … Keeping people who are unemployed or under-employed with cash flow and money is key,” said Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America (BAC.N), adding the government needed to fix problems with the healthcare response to the virus, including by bolstering hospital capacity.

Uncertainty over whether a divided U.S. Senate would pass the administration’s stimulus package helped spur another sell-off on U.S. stock markets on Wednesday.

The Dow fell 5.85%, confirming a bear market for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, as the World Health Organization called the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. The S&P 500 .SPX lost 140.84 points, or 4.89%.

Chief executives from Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Truist Financial Corp (TFC.N) and U.S. Bancorp USB. were also in attendance, as was Gordon Smith, co-president and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co’s (JPM.N) consumer and community banking division.

The executives spoke with Trump privately for just over 40 minutes before opening up the meeting to questions from reporters.

Trump took the opportunity to tease parts of the stimulus package which is expected to be unveiled in detail in coming days, including during his national address scheduled for Wednesday night.

“We’ll be doing a lot of additional work with small businesses, adding many billions of dollars and making lots of small business loans,” Trump said, adding “I think a payroll tax would be great … very good for the citizens, the people and longer-term for the country.”

U.S. banking regulators on Monday urged lenders to go easy on consumers and businesses who may have trouble repaying loans if coronavirus-related disruption causes businesses to lose revenue, close temporarily, or lay off staff.

On Wednesday, the executives discussed how they can make the most of that regulatory flexibility through measures such as loan repayment holidays, waiving some fees, and low or no-cost loans.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks prior to presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to retired four-star Army General Jack Keane in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

“All of our plans are designed to protect consumers and small businesses. We’ll be there with forbearance plans and we’ll be there to waive fees,” said Smith.

“Spending among the Millennial generation is holding up very well,” he said, adding that JPMorgan has lent consumers and small businesses more than $26 billion in the last 40 days.

Citi is also waiving monthly account fees and penalties on certificates of deposit for customers affected by the outbreak and Goldman Sachs plans to give customers of its online bank Marcus an extra month to make payments on personal loans without additional interest.

Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall and Imani Moise in New York, and Pete Schroeder in Washington; additional reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bangalore and Alex Alper and David Lawder in Washington; Editing by Michelle Price, Paul Simao and Tom Brown



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StanChart posts strong results but coronavirus, economic headwinds to hamper profit growth


HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered (STAN.L) booked a robust 46% jump in annual profit but warned a key earnings target would take longer to meet as the coronavirus epidemic adds to headwinds in its main markets of China and Hong Kong.

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Standard Chartered is displayed at the financial Central district in Hong Kong, China November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

The epidemic could lead to a rise in bad loans, it said but did not provide specific guidance on the potential impact. Rival HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L) said last week it could face loan losses of up to $600 million if the virus outbreak persists into the second half of the year.

“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus comes with unpredictable human and economic consequences,” Chief Executive Bill Winters said in a statement.

Noting that lower interest rates were also putting pressure on net interest income, StanChart said it would take longer to achieve its goal of a 10% return on tangible equity (RoTE) previously targeted for 2021.

The bank, which makes the bulk of its revenue in Asia, posted a pretax profit of $3.7 billion for 2019. Although that was slightly below an average forecast of $3.9 billion, it marked the steepest profit growth since 2017 when the bank posted a six-fold rise.

Hong Kong’s economy has been hit hard, first by anti-government protests and now by the virus as tourist arrivals slump and residents steer clear of shops. Many employees, including those at StanChart, are working from home.

The bank said its provisions for expected losses from Hong Kong bad loans rose by $46 million in the second half of last year.

Analysts and bankers have warned that lenders which derive a large part of their earnings from Hong Kong face at least two quarters of worsening asset quality and slowing loan growth as the virus outbreak hits trade and consumer banking.

StanChart also said it had approved a buyback of up to $500 million worth of shares starting shortly and will review the potential for making a further capital return upon the completion of the sale of a stake in Indonesian lender Permata.

Its Hong Kong shares extended morning gains to be up 2.5% in the afternoon trade after the results.

Winters won plaudits from StanChart investors for his first three years at the helm when he patched up the lender’s battered balance sheet and tackled an internal risk culture that had grown reckless.

The bank last year embarked on a new three-year plan to double its returns and dividends by cutting $700 million in costs and boosting income.

Winters’ pay fell 6% to 5.93 million pounds, after he and Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford agreed to a reduction in their pension allowance following pressure from investors who criticised them for enjoying greater benefits than the wider workforce.

Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in Hong Kong and Lawrence White in London; Editing by Edwina Gibbs



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Yuan Boosted by Inflation Data; Dollar to Stay Strong By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – The pushed higher Monday on the back of stronger-than-expected local inflation data, but a solid jobs report on Friday coupled with weaker economic numbers in Europe mean the U.S. dollar is likely to stay strong in the near term.

At 05:00 ET (1000 GMT), traded at 6.9810, 0.26% lower, after falling as low as 6.9774 earlier Monday, while the that tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was about flat at 98.66, off the highs last seen in October.

Earlier Monday, China’s producer prices gained 0.1% year-on-year, which was the first pickup since May 2019. The numbers, which followed a 0.5% drop in December, were in line with expectations.

Consumer prices also gained 5.4% year-on-year compared with an expected 4.9% rise and a 4.5% rise in December.

“The year-on-year increase has been affected not only by Spring Festival-related factors but … by the new coronavirus as well,” said the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday, with prices of pork and fresh vegetables pushing up costs.

The uptick could complicate decisions making for policymakers looking to boost a cooling economy.

“China’s policy responses have been stepped up over the past week with liquidity injections helping to allay some investors’ fears,” said Eleanor Creagh, an analyst at Saxo Bank, “However, these increased policy responses signal the authorities anxiety levels are rising, despite the state media awash with proclamations to the contrary.”

traded 0.1% higher at 1.0952, while traded 0.2% higher at 1.2914. It was earlier down at 1.2876, its lowest since late November.

The U.S. dollar remains generally well bid, Creagh added. “With this USD strength comes an additional hit to growth as the strong USD tightens financial conditions globally, particularly in offshore funding markets. The strong dollar hinders reflationary pulses and curtails green shoots therefore cementing the path for weaker economic growth.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Australian home prices start year on strong note, building to follow By Reuters



By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s housing market started the year with a bang as annual price growth accelerated to the fastest pace since late 2017, supporting consumer wealth and confidence in the face of damaging wildfires and the coronavirus scare.

Data from property consultant CoreLogic out on Monday showed home prices across the nation rose 0.9% in January, from December when they were up 1.1%.

That brought the gains for the 12 months to January to 4.1%, a world away from the punishing declines seen early last year.

The revival was led by the major cities with values in Sydney up by 1.1% in January and 7.9% for the year. Melbourne boasted gains of 1.2% and 8.2% respectively.

The bull market was also becoming more broad-based with every major city recording gains in January, while values in Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra hit all-time highs.

January is seasonally a slow period for home sales being the peak of the Australian summer holiday season. This year sentiment was also darkened by bushfires raging across the southeast of the continent.

The spread of the coronavirus has added a new headwind by badly hindering Chinese tourism to Australia.

As a result, analysts have trimmed forecasts for economic growth this quarter and markets have stepped up wagers of more interest rate cuts.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) holds its first meeting of the year on Tuesday and futures imply around a 20% chance of a quarter point cut in the 0.75% cash rate. [AU/INT]

An easing is now fully priced in by May, having been brought in from July given the latest news on the virus. Investors have even priced in a two-in-three risk of a further move to 0.25% by yearn end.

Rates were cut three times last year in an attempt to stimulate consumer spending, with only limited success.

Still, the rebound in home prices is a boon for wealth with Australia’s housing stock valued at a hefty A$6.9 trillion ($4.72 trillion).

“The lift in home prices has the potential to boost perceived wealth and thus boost consumer spending,” said Ryan Felsman, a senior economist at CommSec.

“Wealth is at record highs and incomes are still running faster than consumer prices. The missing ingredient is confidence.”

The surge in prices is also attracting more money into home building after more than a year of sharp declines.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out on Monday showed approvals to build new homes held steady in December, a surprisingly firm result after a steep jump the month before.

Maree Kilroy, an economist for BIS Oxford Economics, noted annual growth in approvals had turned positive for the first time in 18 months.

“The positive momentum that has developed in the established property market and the flow through of a range of stimulus measures to new dwelling demand sets the scene for a recovery in approvals over 2020,” she added.

The residential construction sector is a major employer and spills over into wider activity as homes are furnished.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Dollar Slips on Strong Pound, Yen Jumps as Virus Fears Bite By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Invesing.com – The dollar struggled to find its footing Thursday, amid mixed U.S. economic data and a sharp decline against the pound after the Bank of England held rates steady in the wake of firmer economic data.

The , which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.18% to 97.64 .

increased at a 2.1% pace in the fourth quarter of last year, the Commerce Department said in its advance estimate on Thursday, in line with forecasts. But the growth was supported by a collapse in imports and final private domestic sales rose at an annualized rate of only 1.4% in the quarter, the slowest rate in four years.

The U.S. economy has been underpinned by strong consumer spending offsetting weakness in other areas like business investment and manufacturing.

“Business investment edged lower for a third straight quarter – the longest such streak since 2009 – with the industrial sector continuing to feel the pinch from the US-China trade war,” RBC said. “But consumer spending increased at a still relatively solid 1.8% pace (although that is down from a 3.1% increase in the third quarter) and residential investment growth picked up to its strongest pace in 2 years.”

On the labor front, fell by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000, slightly missing economists’ forecast for a drop to 215,000.

The greenback was also pressure by a surge in the pound as the Bank of England left its benchmark rate at 0.75%. But some analysts have suggested that a future rate cut is not completely off the table should the recent run of positive U.K. economic data fade.

“If the recent uptick in the data does not persist, those pressures will probably increase and markets may transfer cut expectations to the next BOE meeting,” said George Lagarias, chief economist at Mazars.

climbed 0.53% to $1.3091.

added 0.20% to $1.03 on mixed economic data from Germany as inflation undershot, but unemployment beat forecasts.

Safe-haven demand, meanwhile, continued to underpin the yen and Swiss franc as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 170, raising fears about the potential impact of the disease on global growth.

Fears of a pandemic intensified somewhat after Centers for Disease Control reported the first person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus in the U.S., which now has six confirmed cases.

fell 0.33% to Y108.64 and fell 0.45% to 0.9688.

rose 0.19% to C$1.3221.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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