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US Dollar Mixed on Weak Industrial Output, Lower Trade Deficit

April 17, 2019 at 14:54 by Andrew Moran

One dollar note with a pyramidThe US dollar is mixed against a basket of currencies midweek as the buck finds direction on the latest release of key economic data. Investors are combing through industrial production numbers, trade deficit data, and the national mortgage market that could provide insight into the real estate industry.

Last month, industrial production declined, driven primarily by a drop in mining output. According to the Federal Reserve, industrial output, which combines numbers emanating from factories, mines, and utilities, slipped 0.1% in March from the previous month.

Manufacturing production was flat, mining output plunged 0.8%, and utility production jumped 0.2%.

On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that mortgage applications surged to their highest levels in near nearly nine years, despite mortgage rates rising for the second consecutive week. The organization’s seasonally-adjusted measurement on purchase mortgage activity surged 0.9% to 280.7 in the week ending April 12, the best reading since April 2010 when the reading hit 291.3.

Last week, interest rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 4.4% last week, up four basis points from the previous week.

Is President Donald Trump having his dreams of wiping out the trade deficit coming true? According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the trade deficit declined 3.4% in February to the lowest level in eight months. The deficit fell to $49.4 billion, beating the median estimate of a $53.4 billion deficit.

Overall, imports rose 0.2% to $259.1 billion, while exports advanced 1.1% to $209.7 billion.

The decline was buoyed by rising auto and airplane exports, but experts contend that these may be single instances and may not be sustainable moving forward.

Investors will now look ahead to retail sales, building permits, and housing starts.

The USD/CAD currency pair tumbled 0.18% to 1.3327, from an opening of 1.3350, at 14:31 GMT on Wednesday. The EUR/USD surged 0.16% to 1.1301, from an opening of 1.1281.

If you have any questions, comments, or opinions regarding the US Dollar, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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