Investing.com - The number of building permits issued in the U.S. fell sharply in March, while housing starts issues missed expectations, official data showed Thursday.
In a report, the U.S. Commerce Department said that the number of building permits issued in March declined by 5.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted 1.039 million units from February's total of 1.102 million. Analysts expected building permits to fall by 2.0% to 1.080 million units in March.
The report also showed that U.S. housing starts rose by 2.0% in March to hit a seasonally adjusted 926,000 units from February's total of 908,000 units, below expectations for an increase of 15.9% to 1.040 million.
EUR/USD was trading at 1.0759 from around 1.0727 ahead of the release of the data, GBP/USD was at 1.4934 from 1.4908 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 119.03 from 119.15 earlier.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 97.99, compared to 98.23 ahead of the report.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open. The Dow futures pointed to a drop of 0.3%, the S&P 500 futures shed 0.35%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 0.4%.
Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,207.80 a troy ounce, compared to $1,205.90 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $55.31 a barrel from $55.20 earlier.
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