U.S. mortgage activity falls to lowest since January – MBA

A measure of U.S. mortgage application activity fell last week to its lowest level since early January as 30-year mortgage rates rose to their highest since July 2015, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released on Wednesday showed. The Washington-based industry group’s seasonally adjusted mortgage market index fell 9.4 percent to 417.2 in the week ended Nov. 25. This was the lowest since 398.5 in the week of Jan. 8.

U.S. should cede control of Fannie and Freddie: Mnuchin

U.S. President-elect Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, on Wednesday waded into the long-running battle over the future control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest players in the U.S. home mortgage market, saying that the lenders should be returned to private control. Fannie and Freddie stood at the center of the 2008 financial crisis. Continue reading “U.S. should cede control of Fannie and Freddie: Mnuchin”

Trump assembles America’s ‘richest cabinet’

US President-elect Donald Trump took a populist tone on the campaign trail, pledging to stand for a beleaguered working class abandoned by the elite. Yet, as he selects his cabinet, observers are already pointing out that he is putting together the richest administration in US history. So far, his choices include a billionaire investor, a woman who married into a retail dynasty and a multi-millionaire banker. Democrats have been quick to the attack. Continue reading “Trump assembles America’s ‘richest cabinet’”

Russia positions 55,000 troops by its border with Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has deployed 55,000 troops on the Ukrainian border in Russia’s latest muscle-flexing exercise prompting fears of an invasion. The sudden influx of feet on the grounds adds to up to 7,500 Russian soldiers already stationed in Ukraine. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Ihor Dolhov made the announcement in Kiev, where officials are said to be convinced Russia is attempting to topple the government. Continue reading “Russia positions 55,000 troops by its border with Ukraine”

Subprime Auto-Loan Delinquencies Surge to NY Fed’s Attention

Six million Americans are 90-plus days delinquent. The increasingly turbulent sector of subprime auto loans bubbled to the attention of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In its Liberty Street Economics, it worries about the “notable deterioration in the performance of subprime auto loans” – Fed speak for the momentum with which these loans are going to heck. About six million people with subprime credit scores (below 620) are now at least 90 days past due on their payments for their car or truck. Continue reading “Subprime Auto-Loan Delinquencies Surge to NY Fed’s Attention”

China’s ‘extraordinary leverage’ tops Bank of England’s growing list of concerns

China, euro zone sovereign debt and the potential fallout from Brexit top the escalating list of concerns for the Bank of England (BOE), according to a report published on Wednesday which warns that risks to global stability have spiked in the past six months. The U.K.’s central bank’s semi-annual Financial Stability Report states, “Vulnerabilities stemming from the global environment and financial markets, which were already elevated, have increased further since July.” Continue reading “China’s ‘extraordinary leverage’ tops Bank of England’s growing list of concerns”

US crude settles up 3.3% at $51.06, extending surge on OPEC output cut deal

Oil prices surged as much as 5 percent on Thursday, with Brent crude at its highest in about 16 months, extending gains after OPEC and Russia agreed to restrict output to reduce the global supply glut more quickly. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on Wednesday to its first oil output reduction since 2008 after de-facto leader Saudi Arabia accepted “a big hit” and dropped a demand that arch-rival Iran also slash output. Continue reading “US crude settles up 3.3% at $51.06, extending surge on OPEC output cut deal”

Italy’s referendum could spark another European banking crisis: Economist

This Sunday’s referendum in Italy could kick off another banking crisis in Europe, according to one economist. “In my view the biggest risk is actually for the banking sector, even more so than political risk, and there will be some political instability,” Megan Greene, ‎chief economist at Manulife Asset Management, told CNBC on Tuesday. Continue reading “Italy’s referendum could spark another European banking crisis: Economist”

Populism is downside risk to global growth

The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president has been a positive for stock markets and may increase economic growth, but the surge in populism in the West is a big problem, warn experts. The credit rating agency warned that there were large downside risks to the world economy as a result of the growth of populism and the possibility of the U.S. and China starting a trade or currency war. Continue reading “Populism is downside risk to global growth”

Trump market rally will end after inauguration, expert predicts

The market may be rallying on President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, but one market expert told CNBC he expects that to end after Inauguration Day. That’s because that has been the pattern when a new president from a different party takes office, said Tom McClellan, editor of the McClellan Market Report. After the election, hopefulness and euphoria usually sends stocks higher because “everybody assumes that whatever’s wrong is going to get changed or fixed by the new guy even though nobody’s doing anything yet in terms of governing,” he said in an interview with “Closing Bell” on Tuesday. Continue reading “Trump market rally will end after inauguration, expert predicts”