Russian Envoy: I did not say there was a breakthrough in Iran nuclear talks

Hold on a minute

The Russian envoy is now saying that he did not say there was a breakthrough in Iranian nuclear talks.  However, there was significant progress, but unresolved issues still remain.
Crude oil
The price of crude oil is trading back above the $65 level at $65.15. That still down one dollar and $0.15 or -1.72%.   It also takes price back above the 200 and 100 hour MAs at $65.16 and $65.30 respectively.

European shares close higher on the day

Modest gains for the major indices

The European shares are closing higher on the day with modest gains:

  • German DAX, +0.1%
  • Francis CAC, flat
  • UK’s FTSE 100, +0.2%
  • Spain’s Ibex, +0.4%
  • Italy’s FTSE MIB, +0.1%
In the forex market as London/European traders look to exit, the CHF is the strongest of the majors, while the USD remains the weakest.  Although lower, the USD has moved higher off the opening North American levels. The greenback is moving to new NY session highs vs the EUR, CHF, CAD, AUD and NZD into the London close.

US April housing starts 1569K vs 1702K estimate

US housing starts and building permits for April 2021

Housing starts for April
  • prior report 1739K revised to 1733K
  • Housing Starts  1569K vs 1702K estimate, or -9.5% vs estimate of -2.1%.
  • Building permits 1760K vs 1770K estimate, or +0.3% vs 0.6% estimate
  • Single‐family housing completions in April were at a rate of 1,045,000; this is 0.1 percent (±8.4 percent)* above the revised March rate of 1,044,000
  • single-family starts 1087K vs 1255K in March
  • multi family starts 482K versus 478k last month
The numbers are somewhat of a surprise given the need for new housing (demand is clearly outstripping supply). However supply chain backlogs and higher material costs for things like lumber are putting a damper on building (at least for now).
For the full report from the US Census Bureau, CLICK HERE
Meanwhile Home Depot crushed earnings today citing unprecedented demand
  • Earnings per share: $3.86, vs. $3.08 expected
  • Revenue: $37.5 billion, vs. $34.96 billion expected

Consumers were also spending more during their visits. Average ticket rose 10.3% to $82.37.

Eurozone March trade balance €13.0 billion vs €18.7 billion expected

Latest data released by Eurostat – 18 May 2021

  • Prior €18.4 billion; revised to €23.1 billion

As a whole in Q1, euro area exports were seen down 0.6% compared to the same period in 2020 while imports actually showed a 0.2% increase compared to the period. That said, there is still some ways before the monthly trade conditions return back to pre-pandemic levels and that is pretty much the case elsewhere around the globe as well.

Eurostoxx futures +0.7% in early European trading

A more positive vibe in early trades

  • German DAX futures +0.6%
  • UK FTSE futures +0.7%
  • Spanish IBEX futures +0.5%
This mirrors the mood in US futures, where we are seeing S&P 500 futures up 0.3% and Nasdaq futures up by 0.6% to get things going on the session.
Treasury yields are keeping steady, with 10-year yields seen at 1.64% though the dollar is keeping slightly on the backfoot as we get into European trading.
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