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    Dollar remains down after U.S. data disappoints

    The dollar remained on the downside against the rest of the major currencies, after the release of unsatisfying U.S. economic reports and as worries over worsening oil prices extended to support the safe-haven yen and Swiss franc.
    On Wednesday,  the U.S. Commerce Department announced that consumer prices drop 0.1% in December, compared to outlooks for a flat reading. Year-over-year, consumer prices were 0.7% higher. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy costs, missing forecasts for a gain of 0.2%, increased by 0.1%. Furthermore, the U.S. Commerce Department said that housing starts fell 2.5% to hit 1.149 million units last month from November’s total of 1.179 million units, although analysts had awaited an advance 1.6% to 1.200 million.
    In the meantime, the number of building permits  released rejected 3.9% to 1.232 million units from November’s total of 1.289 million, with economists forecasting a drop of 6.4% to 1.200 million units.
    Elsewhere, the safe-haven yen stayed supported as oil prices dropped to the lowest level since 2003 on Wednesday, falling below $28 per barrel after the International Energy Agency said in a report that the supply glut in markets looks set to last until at least late 2016, with USD/JPY down 0.73% at 116.74, off one-year lows of 115.98 hit earlier in the day.
    The commodity-related Canadian dollar was also affected because of the ongoing oil rout, with USD/CAD up 0.25% at a fresh 13-year high of 1.4615.
    The Australian and New Zealand dollars were also weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.69% at 0.6860 and with NZD/USD retreating 0.62% to trade at 0.6374.
    The single currency remained steady against the dollar, with EUR/USD to trade at 1.0906 after rising to highs of 1.0976 earlier in the session.
    The dollar remained lower against the British pound and the Swiss franc, with GBP/USD up 0.10% at nearly seven-year lows of 1.4175, and with USD/CHF slipping 0.12% to 1.0021.
    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.08% at 99.09.

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