With mortgage rates still historically low but that have stopped going lower, the weekly MBA data was mixed. Refi apps fell 3.2% after rising 13.1% in the week prior but remains 6.5% below the average level since the Fed started QE3. Purchase apps though rose by 2.7% after an 11% jump last week and the index level matches the highest since June. In Europe, the troika still hasn’t been able to seal the deal on Greece but it seems close as the IMF head said “We made some good work and we’re closing the gap.” Markets aren’t worried as the Greek 10 yr bond is up for an 8th straight day and Greek stocks are little changed as is the euro. In Asia, yen weakness continues as it falls for a 6th straight day to near an 8 month low vs the US$ and the relief is evident in the Nikkei which rallied again to within 10 pts of the highest level since May. Japanese exports fell 6.5% in Oct y/o/y, the 5th straight month of declines as exports to the EU fell 20.1% y/o/y and to China by 11.6% y/o/y. Japanese exports ytd are the weakest since ’09 and would get needed relief if the yen weakness continues. The Shanghai index bounced about 1% off near its lowest level since Mar ’09 on speculation of an imminent RRR cut.
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