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The euro rose to a two-week low against the dollar, almost reaching the maximum values of the session, helped by weak U.S. data. Note that another worrying sign for the manufacturing sector after yesterday's business activity index, was published today by the Commerce Department report, which reflected a much larger-than-expected drop in new orders for manufactured durable goods in March. The report showed that orders for durable goods fell by 5.7% in March after a revised 4.3% rise in February. And with the seasonally adjusted total orders for durable goods in March totaled 216.28 billion. Economists had expected orders decreased by 2.8% compared with 5.6% growth, which have been registered in the previous month. Orders for durable goods excluding transportation equipment in the U.S. in March fell 1.4%. Orders for durable goods excluding defense value of the goods in the United States in March decreased by 4.7%. In addition, it was reported that orders for durable goods excluding transportation equipment in the U.S. in February revised to -1.7% from -0.5%.
It is also worth noting that the news from Italy point to the fact that the newly elected President Napolitano requested E. Lehto (try) to form a new coalition government, in order to break the political deadlock in the country, which is observed since the last elections held in late February.
The British pound retreated from the maximum values of today's session after a disappointing report of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on retail sales. According to the data, the volume index of retail sales in March is -1, and the index of expectations for sales in March fell to a yearly low -6. In addition, a separate report showed that the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase in the UK rose in March, was slightly below forecasts of experts.
According to the report, the number of approved applications for mortgage loans increased at the end of last month at 31,227, up from 30,579 in February. Note that many economists predicted that the value of this index will increase to 31400.Krome addition, the data showed that the amount of net debt, which is pledged to the banks fell following last month by 0.1%, while the bulk of the unsecured loans decreased by 1.6% over the same period. In the Confederation of British Industry also noted that gross mortgage loans made in March 7.60 billion pounds, down from the last monthly average.
The New Zealand dollar rose after the central bank of New Zealand kept interest rates unchanged at 2.5%. Commenting on the decision, the head of the RBNZ Graeme Wheeler said the decision to leave rates unchanged was due to the fact that inflation has remained low-key, and economic growth is picking up. In addition, Wheeler said that the central bank will keep interest rates at the same level until the end of the year, as indicated in the March statement on monetary policy.
Meanwhile, the head said that inflation this year is expected to remain close to the lower boundary of the medium-term target range of 1-3 percent. We also recall that, according to official figures, in the first quarter consumer price index increased by 0.9 per cent per annum. However, the central bank seemed to be concerned about the high rate of inflation in housing prices in some regions, despite the fact that prices have increased.
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