Friday, March 7, 2014

Jobs Data and Ukraine

Mortgage Time
Mortgage Market News for the week ending March 7, 2014


Jobs Data and Ukraine
It was a volatile week in mortgage markets. Early in the week, rapidly changing conditions in Ukraine caused a great deal of movement in mortgage rates, but there was little net impact. Later in the week, stronger than expected labor market data was negative for mortgage rates, and rates ended the week higher.
Against a consensus forecast of 140K, the economy added 175K jobs in February, and the figures for the prior two months were revised a little higher. This took place, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, despite the largest weather related disruption since 1996. The Unemployment Rate unexpectedly rose from 6.6% to 6.7%, but this was due to an increase in the number of people that entered the labor force. The solid jobs report exceeded expectations nearly across the board. Since stronger economic growth raises future inflationary pressures, this was unfavorable news for mortgage rates.
After Russia moved troops into Ukraine, the threat of an escalating conflict caused a "flight to safety" in financial markets on Monday. This involved a shift by investors to relatively safer assets, resulting in a large decline in stocks and significant improvement in bonds, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS). A complete reversal took place on Tuesday, however, after the Russian President said that Russia would not use military force in Ukraine.

Davis Orebaugh
Mortgage Consultant
NMLS #:   / NC 323545
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2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 370
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone:  919.926.7554 Cell:  919.740.7049 Direct Fax:  919.590.1767