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US Dollar Index Is Holding Steady

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US dollar index trading nearly flat

The US Dollar index was trading in a narrow range on November 18, 2015. The slight movements in the dollar index were down mainly due to housing data coming out on a mixed note and the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) minutes.

The day also saw statements from Fed members on their individual views on a potential rate hike by the Fed in the December meeting. The US dollar index touched a high of 99.9 for the day.

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Housing data and FOMC minutes

The United States Census Bureau released housing data for the month of October on a mixed note. Building permits rose to 1.2 million from the previous month’s 1.1 million, which was primarily due to the rise in single-family authorizations.

Housing starts came in at 1.1 million against the previous month’s 1.2 million. The FOMC minutes were released later in the day, which suggested the members felt that conditions required for a hike could be met by the December meeting. The minutes suggest that the members spent time discussing how to pace the interest rate hike.

Impact on the market

Mixed housing data have had a positive impact on housing-related ETFs. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) rose 1.8%. The iShares US Home Construction ETF (ITB) followed a similar trajectory and rose 1.8% on November 18, 2015.

Housing-related stocks were also on the rise, with Lennar (LEN) trading on a positive bias and rising by 2.1%. Toll Brothers (TOL) also posted gains, with a rise of 1.7% on October 20, 2015. DR Horton (DHI) rose by 1.8%.

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