US economic data on Thursday were mixed.
Building permits rose to an annual rate of 812,000 in July, the most since August 2008. Housing starts though fell 1.1 percent from the highest rate in more than three years in June.
Initial claims for jobless benefits rose 2,000 to 366,000 last week but the four-week moving average fell to 363,750.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index improved to minus 7.1 in August from minus 12.9 the previous month.
Despite the mixed housing data on Thursday, Bill McBride thinks that the “budding recovery for housing starts and new home sales is positive for GDP and employment”.
Meanwhile, UK economic data has taken a positive turn.
Following the fall in the unemployment rate reported on Wednesday, Thursday brought news that retail sales rose 0.3 percent in July. In addition, sales in June were revised to show an increase of 0.8 percent from an initial figure of 0.1 percent.