The euro bounced higher versus the greenback, edging up to just shy of the 1.34-handle as details of Greece's bailout continued to trickle through to the markets tempering fears for a default. Crude oil climbed higher by around 1.5% to trade near $85 per barrel amid improving sentiment over the global economic recovery - sparked by sharply higher than expected US housing market data. The US equity bourses traded slightly higher by the afternoon session, with the Dow Jones up by almost 0.4% and the S&P 500 improving by over 0.5%.
Economic reports released earlier in the session revealed a sharp spike in new home sales, higher by 26.9% to 411k units in March and sharply exceeding expectations for a gain to 330k from an upwardly revised 324k units from the month prior. The surge in new home sales marked its largest gain in nearly 47-years and reflected a spike as a result of the expiring government tax credit. Meanwhile, the headline durable goods orders report posted a 1.3% decline in March compared with an upwardly revised 1.1%. Meanwhile, the excluding transportations durable goods climbed higher by 2.8% from 1.7% previously.
The Canadian dollar continued to consolidate around the parity mark following mixed economic data from Canada. The headline CPI figures were softer than expected, printing in March at 0.0% m/m and 1.7% y/y while the core figures posted a 0.2% decline on a monthly basis and a 1.7% increase on an annualized basis. The retail sales report missed estimates for an increase to 0.8%, instead edging up by 0.5% from 0.9%. The excluding automobiles figure posted a 0.1% decline versus a 2.0% increase previously.