Brexit Talks to Start Next Week, Federal Reserve Officials Make Public Appearances

U.S. shares were mixed after the close on Friday. At the close NYSE, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index added 0.11% and 0.03%, respectively, the NASDAQ Composite index declined 0.22%.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar lost ground against a basket of the other major currencies on Friday, weighed down by weak U.S. housing and consumer sentiment data. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.3% to end at 97.14 by late Friday. The index declined 0.1% on a weekly basis.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. homebuilding fell for a third straight month in May to the lowest level in eight months. Building permits were reported to fell 4.9 percent last month to a pace of 1.17 million units, the lowest level since April 2016. Meanwhile, housing starts dropped 5.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units.

In a separate report, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment gauged fell to 94.5 in early June from 91.1 in May. The result fell short of analysts’ expectations calling for a reading of 97.1. The greenback previously soared to a more than two-week highs on Thursday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates as widely expected.

In the week ahead, a handful of Fed policymakers are scheduled to make public appearances that may offer insight into the likelihood of higher interest rates in the coming months. While New York Fed President William Dudley and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans are due to make a speech on Monday, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan are scheduled to deliver comments on Tuesday.

Fed Governor Jay Powell is due to speak before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday before St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Fed Governor Powell make public remarks on Friday.

Besides Fed’s officials’ public appearances, U.S. data also features report on existing home sales for May scheduled to be released by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday. Analysts forecast a decline of 0.7% to 5.55 million, following a slump of 2.3% a month earlier. On Friday, the Commerce Department is to publish a report on new home sales for May which is expected to show an increase of 5.5% to 600,000, following a drop of 11.4% in April.

In Europe, market players eagerly await the start of Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union in Brussels on Monday, kicking off a two-year divorce process due to end by March 2019. Key subjects to be negotiated include how the U.K. will trade with the EU once it leaves the bloc and the status of EU nationals and Britons living elsewhere in the EU.

Meanwhile, the euro zone is to publish preliminary data on manufacturing and service sector activity for May on Friday. Economists expect a modest decline.

In Canada, April retail sales figures will be published on Thursday April retail sales figures while core sales are anticipated to climb 0.7%, after falling 0.2% a month earlier. Data on May consumer price inflation will come out on Friday. Markets expect the report to show that inflation increased 0.3% last month, extending the uptrend after having risen 0.4% in April. On a yearly base, CPI is projected to climb 1.5%.

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