Equity exchange traded funds (ETFs) started the week flat as traders returned from the long holiday weekend while some foreign markets were closed on Monday.

  • Sales of new homes rebounded 11.1% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000, the Commerce Department estimated Monday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 290,000 sales rate in March. The still-bleak reading — a decrease of 21.9% from March 2010 levels — came as sales in the Northeast rebounded particularly strongly, which may reflect that February’s worst-ever showing was in part caused by winter storms. The February data also was revised higher, to 270,000 from an initial 250,000 that the Commerce Department reported, though that is still a record low. Median sales prices rose 2.9% to $213,800. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate ETF (NYSEArca: IYR) is down slightly so far today.
  • The Australian dollar hit a fresh 29-year high and South Korea’s benchmark share index touched another record intraday high on Monday, suggesting investors were still eager to embrace risk and higher-yielding assets. The Australian dollar, which tends to attract buying when the global economy is doing well and commodity prices rise, touched a 29-year high of $1.0777. It later trimmed its gains to stand at $1.0735, little changed on the day. The CurrencyShares Austrian Dollar Trust ETF (NYSEArca: FXA) is trading flat on Monday.
  • Chinese stocks fell Monday on concern Beijing may continue to tighten its monetary policy, while Japanese shares gave up early gains to end lower as investors fretted about corporate outlooks in the wake of the March 11 disasters. Transaction volumes remained light in some markets as many traders were away for the Easter holiday. Markets in Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand were closed. The fall in Shanghai came as Nymex crude-oil prices remained above $110 a barrel, posing a challenge to policy makers’ efforts to cool inflation on the mainland. Sanjay Mathur, Asia economist at Royal bank of Scotland in Singapore, wrote to clients that the fall came as “investors focused on the likelihood of further policy tightening as oil prices continue to rise.”

Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.