Pending home sales in November slightly declined for the third time in four months as buyers continue to battle both rising home prices and limited homes available for sale. Pending home sales index inched down by a seasonally adjusted 0.9% last month. Year-on-year, pending home sales rose at annualized rate of 5.1% in November. This was above forecasts for an increase of 4.0% and following a gain of 2.3% in the prior month. The dollar held steady against the euro due to the upbeat data released on Tuesday. (We saw the dollar strengthen after the Conference Board reported that its consumer confidence index rose to 96.5 in December from 92.6 in November)
The pound was almost unchanged against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, hovering close to an eight-month low. The Nationwide Building Society said home prices rose 0.8% in December, exceeding expectations for a 0.5% gain.
International Monetary Fund chief ‘Christine Lagarde’ warned yesterday that global economic growth would be "disappointing" next year. Writing in a guest article for German newspaper Handelsblatt, Lagarde pointed to the possible effects a slowdown in emerging economies would have on the rest of the world. Lagarde said "In many countries the financial sector still has weaknesses and in emerging markets the financial risks are increasing. All of that means global growth will be disappointing and uneven in 2016," Lagarde also said growth in global trade has slowed considerably while a decline in raw material prices is also providing a drag on economies and that low productivity, ageing populations and the effects of the global financial crisis will also stall growth.
12:30 - EUR - ECB Monetary Policy Meeting
13:30 – USD - Initial Jobless Claims – Expected to fall to 270K from 267K
13:30 – USD - Continuing Jobless Claims – Expected to rise to 2.201M from 2.195M