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The pace of building permits in the US rose to 0.78 million, exceeding expectations. Housing starts hit a level of 0.71 million.  Building permits were expected to stand at 0.73 million and housing starts at 0.72 million. The permits data supports the claim that housing has bottomed out.

Currencies are unexcited from the numbers so far. In the US, tension is rising towards the FOMC meeting, while Spanish issues dominate European and global economic news. Update: USD/JPY is ticking up, very marginally.

The number of building permits stood on 0.72 million in April, so this is a nice rise.

The number of housing starts was revised to the upside for April: 0.74 instead of 0.72 million. This could be seen as bad news, as now we have a drop.

These levels seen in recent months are higher than those seen in 2010 and 2011 but still below the pre-crisis levels that exceeded 1 million.

If the Fed was considering QE3 for Mortgage Based Assets (MBA), these figures weaken the cause.

Further reading:  Avoiding Risk On / Risk Off with Crosses