Article Highlights

  • U.S. initial jobless claims at 252K vs. 261K forecast, 260K previous
  • U.S. HPI up 0.5% vs. 0.3% forecast in July
  • U.S. existing home sales down from 5.38M to 5.33M vs. 5.45M consensus
  • U.S. CB leading index down 0.2% vs. 0.0% forecast
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Medium-tier economic data from the U.S. came in mixed so the Greenback was all over the charts as well. Here’s what went on.

Major Events:

Road bumps in the U.S. housing market? – Just like building permits and housing starts, U.S. existing home sales also fell short of expectations in August. The reading dropped from 5.38 million to 5.33 million instead of rising to the 5.45 million consensus. This marked the second consecutive decline in existing home sales as mortgage rates started to creep higher in the month, likely due to stronger Fed rate hike expectations.

Meanwhile, the house price index chalked up a 0.5% gain for July, outpacing the projected 0.3% increase and the previous 0.3% uptick. Analysts have pointed out that these consistent price increases may have also been another factor keeping a lid on home sales.

Mixed medium-tier U.S. data – First, the good news. Hiring trends are looking positive in the U.S. as the initial jobless claims report printed a smaller than expected 252K reading versus the estimated 261K figure. This is also lower than the earlier week’s 260K reading.

And for the not-so-good-news, the CB leading index printed a 0.2% decline for August instead of staying flat. Although the previous reading was bumped up slightly from 0.4% to 0.5%, the latest set of components indicated that gains in financial indicators were offset by declines in leading labor market indicators.

Major Market Movers:

JPY – The Japanese yen gave up ground across the board during the U.S. session before recovering slightly by the end of the day.

USD/JPY climbed from 100.55 to a high of 100.93 (+0.38%), EUR/JPY pulled up from a low of 113.05 to a high of 113.51 then slid back to 113.02 (-0.02%), GBP/JPY popped up from 131.51 to a high of 132.27 (+0.58%), and CAD/JPY made its way back above the 77.00 handle (+0.38%).

Watch Out For:

  • 12:30 am GMT: Japanese flash manu PMI (49.3 expected, 49.5 previous)
  • 4:30 am GMT: Japanese all industries activity index (0.2% expected, 1.0% previous)

See also:

London Session Recap

Asian Session Recap

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