SHANGHAI, Feb 26 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected in the day ahead.
The US dollar index declined on Tuesday as expectations grew that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates this year to relieve pressure on the economy caused by China's coronavirus outbreak.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies, dipped 0.3% and ended at 98.97.
LME base metals traded mostly higher as LME lead led the increase with a rise of 1.7%. Tin climbed 1.3%, nickel added 0.5%, aluminium gained 0.2%, while copper shed 0.2%, and zinc slipped 0.3%.
Expectations that the Fed will cut rates at least 25 basis points at its June meeting were at 78.3% on Tuesday, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool. The same tool shows a 4.1% chance that rates will be in the current 150-175 basis-point range in December, down from 28.6% a month ago.
On the data front, the US Conference Board consumer confidence index improved slightly in February, following an increase in January. The Index now stands at 130.7, up from 130.4 in January.
"Despite the decline in the Present Situation Index, consumers continue to view current conditions quite favourably. Consumers' short-term expectations improved, and when coupled with solid employment growth, should be enough to continue to support spending and economic growth in the near term," said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators.
US house prices rose in the fourth quarter of 2019, up 1.3% according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index. House prices rose 5.1% on the year in the fourth quarter of 2019. FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for December was up 0.6% from November.
“Growth in US home prices stabilised at the end of 2019 with fourth-quarter prices increasing 5.1% from the same period a year ago. The revised measure of home price growth in the third quarter was also 5.1%. Prices in the Mountain region had the highest gains, posting a 6.7 annual growth rate in the fourth quarter," according to Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA.
Germany's economy stalled in the fourth quarter as consumption lost steam, Germany's Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday, confirming a preliminary estimate.
Household consumption stagnated in the fourth quarter and government consumption rose only 0.3%, Destatis said.
As previously reported, gross domestic product (GDP) – the broadest measure of goods and services produced in an economy – remained flat at 0% compared with the previous quarter. GDP grew 0.4% on the year in the fourth quarter on a calendar and price-adjusted basis, Destatis said, confirming the first estimate.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday that US crude supplies rose by 1.3 million barrels for the week ended February 21. The API data also reportedly showed gasoline stockpiles edged up by 74,000 barrels, while distillate inventories fell by 706,000 barrels.
The US will publish data on its new home sales for January and the weekly crude oil change surveyed by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).