The U.S. released today the housing starts for the month of January, where housing starts rose by 2.8% to an annual rate of 591,000 from the prior revised estimate of 575,000 units and slightly above median estimates of 580,000, while building permits dropped in January by 4.9% to an annual rate of 621,000, compared with median estimates of 620,000 and the prior reported estimate of 653,000.