Existing home sales were expected to remain around the 4.62 million level (annualized) seen in January and they stand at 4.60 million in February, within expectations. The Philly Fed Manufacturing Index rebounded to 9 points in March. It carried expectations of a turn to positive ground from -6.3 to +4.2, so the surprise is significant, especially as this is an early indicator.
The dollar rally stabilized towards the publication: EUR/USD traded around 1.3760, GBP/USD at 1.6488 and USD/JPY was stable around 102.40. The dollar resumes its rally after the publication, with EUR/USD heading down towards 1.3750.
The jump in the Philly Fed Index is mostly due to the rebound in new orders, that turned from -5.2 to +5.7 now. The employment component actually dropped from 4.8 to 1.7 points.
The CB Leading Index was predicted to rise by 0.3% for a second month in a row but they actually rose 0.5% in February. However, January’s number was revised down to +0.1%, so the overall figure is not that exciting.
The dollar rallied hard after the hawkish FOMC statement and press conference by Yellen, which left a hint about a rate hike in the spring of 2015. This triggered a multi-layered USD rally that began late yesterday and was extended now.