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In U.S. economic news, housing starts for the month of January registered at 1,326,000, above consensus estimates of 1,240,000, and above the upwardly revised prior month’s reading of 1,209,000. Elsewhere, U.K. retail sales rose 0.1% month-on-month during January, coming in lower than the expected 0.5% rise, and reversing course from the 1.4% drop in the prior month. Finally, China’s new loans for January registered CNY 2,900.00 billion, higher than the consensus estimates of CNY 2,000.00 billion.

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