The dollar held its gains against its peers today overlooking discouraging US housing figures as the greenback maintained its support due to market speculation that the Federal Reserve will increase its benchmark interest rate in December.  The US National Association of Realtors released data which showed that US existing home sales dropped by 3.4% from 5.55 million units in September to 5.36 million units in October while experts forecast a 2.3% decline to 5.40 million units in October.  Dollar demand intensified as the market prepares for an almost certain rate hike by the Fed next month.  President of the New York Federal Reserve William Dudley announced on Friday that if economic data remains strong rates will be increased in all likelihood.  The US Dollar Index was up 0.19% trading at 7 month highs of 99.83.  
 
The euro weakened against the dollar to new 7 month lows with the pair down 0.20% trading at 1.0623 off its session low of 1.0593 after having come off its session high of 1.0656 reached earlier in the day.  The euro was underpinned by data released by Markit which revealed that the composite purchasing managers’ index for the euro zone climbed to 54.4 in November from 53.9 in October marking a 4 year high.  Germany’s manufacturing PMI inched up from 52.1 in October to 52.6 in November while the services PMI increased from 54.5 in October to 55.6 in November.  France’s manufacturing PMI rose to 50.8 in November from 50.6 in October matching forecasts while the services PMI dropped from 52.7 to 51.3. 
The pound weakened slightly against the dollar with the pair trading at its session low of 1.5114 coming off its session high of 1.5194 reached earlier in the day.  With no significant economic data released out of the UK today the pound remained range bound.  The pound looks to be pressured into risking losing its recent advances on testimony from the Bank of England which took on a less hawkish tone. 
The yen held its ground against the dollar with the pair trading at 122.87 off its session low of 122.72 after having come off its session high of 123.25 reached earlier in the day.  The pair traded within a tight range of less than 1 big figure on thin volume as Japanese markets were closed in observance of Labor Thanksgiving Day.  The market expects the yen to trade positively as investors discount the discouraging FOMC minute release having put some pressure on the greenback. 
 
The Australian and New Zealand dollars weakened against the greenback while the loonie held its ground.  The Aussie declined 0.64% against the greenback with the pair trading at 0.7193 off its session low of 0.7159 after having come off its session high of 0.7232 reached earlier in the day.  The kiwi dollar gave away 0.85% against the greenback with the pair trading at 0.6510 off its session low of 0.6493 after having come off its session high of 0.6561 reached earlier in the day.  The loonie traded steadily against the greenback with the pair trading at 1.3370 off its session low of 1.3319 after having come off its 2 month high of 1.3435 reached earlier in the day. 
 
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