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Dollar Stays Weak Against Major Counterparts

The U.S. dollar turned in another weak performance, losing ground against most of its major counterparts on Friday, amid speculation the Federal Reserve will likely ease its monetary policy by the middle of next year.

A drop in bond yields weighed as well on the dollar.

Recent data showing tamer than expected inflation, an increase in jobless claims, a drop in retail sales, and a bigger than expected decline in industrial production, have raised expectations the Fed may start cutting rates sooner than expected next year.

In U.S. economic news today, a report from the Commerce Department said housing starts in the U.S. jumped by 1.9% to an annual rate of 1.372 million in October after surging by 3.1% to a downwardly revised rate of 1.346 million in September.

Economists had expected housing starts to dip to a rate of 1.350 million from the 1.358 million originally reported for the previous month.

The Commerce Department said building permits also shot up by 1.1% to an annual rate of 1.487 million in October after plunging by 4.5% to a revised rate of 1.471 million in September.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, were expected to decrease to a rate of 1.450 million from the 1.475 million originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar index has dropped to 103.85, giving up nearly 0.5%.

Against the Euro, the dollar has weakened to 1.0912 after having firmed to 1.0825 in the Asian session. The dollar is down against Pound Sterling at 1.2466.

Against the Japanese currency, the dollar is trading at 149.65 yen, easing from 150.73 yen. The dollar is weak against the Aussie at 0.6515, easing from 0.6472. The Swiss franc has firmed to 0.8859 a dollar from 0.8886, while the Loonie has strengthened to C$ 1.3717 thanks to the sharp uptick in oil prices.

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