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Dollar Little Changed Ahead Of Thanksgiving Holiday

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The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Wednesday afternoon, but remains little changed overall. Trading activity has been relatively subdued ahead of Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday. Investors were confronted by a high volume of U.S. economic data this morning.

A report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed a much steeper than expected drop in new orders for U.S. durable goods in the month of October, with the sharp decline largely reflecting a substantial decrease in orders for transportation equipment.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders plunged by 4.4 percent in October following a revised 0.1 percent dip in September. Economists had expected orders to slump by 2.5 percent compared to the 0.7 percent increase that had been reported for the previous month.

A day earlier than usual due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday, the Labor Department released a report on Wednesday showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly edged higher in the week ended November 17th.

The report said initial jobless claims rose to 224,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised level of 221,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to slip to 215,000 from the 216,000 originally reported for the previous week.

After reporting six straight months of decreases, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Wednesday showing existing home sales in the U.S. rebounded by more than anticipated in the month October.

NAR said existing home sales surged up by 1.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.22 million in October after plunging by 3.4 percent to a rate of 5.15 million in September. Economists had expected existing home sales to jump by 1.0 percent.

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. unexpectedly deteriorated by more than initially estimated in the month of November, according to a report released by the University of Michigan on Wednesday. The report said the consumer sentiment index for November was downwardly revised to 97.5 from the preliminary reading of 98.3.

Economists had expected the consumer sentiment index to be unrevised at 98.3, which was still down slightly from 98.6 in October.

Pointing to a slowdown in the pace of U.S. economic growth, the Conference Board released a report on Wednesday showing only a slight uptick by its index of leading economic indicators in the month of October.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index inched up by 0.1 percent in October after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.6 percent in September. The modest increase by the index matched economist estimates.

According to a media report, the Italian government is likely to make compromise with the European Union on certain aspects of its budget.

Investors heaved a sigh of relief after newspaper La Stampa reported that Italian Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini might be open to budget revisions.

The report said that Salvini was willing to reduce the planned spending on a citizen's income and the unwinding of a previous pension reform.
Meanwhile, the European Commission has warned Italy of financial sanctions over its budget.

The dollar dropped to a low of $1.4249 against the Euro Wednesday, but has since bounced back to around $1.1385.

The buck slid to an early low of $1.2819 against the pound sterling Wednesday, but has since rebounded to around $1.2775.

The UK budget deficit in October far exceeded expectations and was the biggest for the month in three years, raising the likelihood of the government missing its borrowing target for the fiscal year, official data showed on Wednesday.

The public sector net borrowing, or PSNB, excluding state banks was GBP 8.8 billion in October, which was the highest for the month since 2015, the Office for National Statistics said. Economists had forecast a deficit of GBP 6.1 billion. In September, the deficit was GBP 2.84 billion and the shortfall was GBP 7.23 billion in October 2017.

The greenback has risen to around Y113.065 against the Japanese Yen this afternoon, from an early low of Y112.698.

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