U.S. home mortgage applications fell last week, lead by a decline in refinancing requests, reported the Mortgage Bankers Association on Wednesday.
The MBA announced that its seasonally-adjusted measure of mortgage applications, which covers both new home purchases and refinancing, plunged 2.2 percent in the week through July 25. Its gauge of refinancing applications declined 4.0 percent, while an index of home purchase loan applications retreated 0.2 percent.
The survey, which involves 75 percent of all retail mortgage requests in the US, also found that the fixed 30-year mortgage rates remained unchanged at 4.33 percent on average last week, reported Reuters.
Meanwhile, the euro area economic sentiment surprisingly rose in July amid the escalating tensions between Russia and the West over the former’s involvement in Ukraine crisis. Morale among consumers increased in 3 out of the 5 biggest economies in the bloc, with Italy, France and Netherlands taking the lead. Spain and Netherlands reported weaker sentiment.
The economic sentiment gauge for 18 nations comprising the euro area increased to 102.2 this month, compared with June’s revised reading of 102.1. A Reuters survey of analysts had projected the measure to decline to 101.8 in July.
Europe rolled out sanctions on Tuesday that are aimed at Russia’s banking, energy and defense sectors in retaliation for what it terms as open support for rebels in Ukraine’s eastern region.
“It is highly likely that events in the Ukraine and heightened global geopolitical tensions are taking an increasing toll on confidence in some countries. This is clearly the case, for example, with business confidence in Germany,” Howard Archer, a chief European economist at IHS spoke to Reuters. Archer expects the new sanctions to affect the sentiment.
The European Central Bank announced various measures aimed at boosting economic growth and combating the threat of deflation in the euro area such as negative deposit rates and injecting further liquidity into the bloc’s banking system. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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