Argentina missed a June interest payment after District Judge Thomas Griesa blocked a coupon payment owed to holders of debt issued under U.S. President Cristina Fernandez, steadfast in her refusal to pay the hedge funds face value on their bonds, this week sent to the Argentine Congress a bill that would allow her government to resume payment to holders of exchanged bonds in defiance of Griesa's court. Griesa said Thursday's hearing would take place at 3 p.m in New York (1900 GMT). In June, Griesa blocked a $539 million interest payment on the restructured debt deposited by Argentina at intermediary Bank of New York Mellon (BONY) , saying it violated his order.
The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales increased 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.15 million units. Home resales have now increased for four straight months after the housing market recovery stalled in the second half of 2013 following a run-up in mortgage rates. In a separate report, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000 for the week ended Aug. 16.