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    Dollar extends gains, U.S. data supports

    The dollar extends gains against the rest of the major currencies on Friday, after data evidenced that U.S. existing home sales rose more-than-expected last month.

    The U.S. National Association of Realtors announced that existing home sales increased by 14.7% to 5.46 million units in December, compared to expectations for a 8.9% rise. Existing home sales dropped by 10.5% to 4.76 million in November.

    The single currency remained under pressure after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that it would be necessary to “review and reconsider” the bank’s monetary policy stance at its next meeting in March, when new economic projections become available, as a result the euro to drop 0.52% against the dollar, with EUR/USD to trade at 1.0819.

    Elsewhere, the dollar pushed lower against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.91% at 1.4348, off Thursday’s seven-year lows of 1.4078, and remained higher against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF advancing 0.64% to 1.0138.

    The dollar climbed 0.67% against the Japanese yen, with USD/JPY to trade at 118.50.

    The canadian dollar, which is commodity related currency, remained under pressure after oil prices fell below 28$ once again Thursday, but they regained some strength on Friday morning. as a result, the US dollar was down 0.92% against its Canadian counterpart, with USD/CAD to trade at a one-and-a-half week low of 1.4136, pulling away from Wednesday’s 13-year peak of 1.4692.

    The Australian dollar was higher, with AUD/USD up 0.44% at 0.7031, while NZD/USD slid 0.58% to trade at 0.6492.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.24% at 99.38, re-approaching Thursday’s one-and-a-half month highs of 99.89.

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