Investing.com - The number of building permits issues in the U.S. rose more-than-expected to hit a four-month high in February, while building permits eased down modestly, official data showed Tuesday.
In a report, the U.S. Commerce Department said that the number of building permits issued last month surged by 7.7% to a seasonally adjusted 1.018 million units from January’s total of 945,000.
Analysts expected building permits to rise by 1.6% to 960,000 units in February.
The report also showed that U.S. housing starts declined by 0.2% last month to hit a seasonally adjusted 907,000 units from January’s total of 909,000, disappointing expectations for an increase of 3.4% to 910,000 units.
Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held on to losses against the euro, with EUR/USD rising 0.04% to trade at 1.3928.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.25%, S&P 500 futures indicated a rise of 0.3%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures signaled an increase of 0.2%.