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Dollar Loses Ground As Trade Deal Hopes Fade

The U.S. dollar weakened against some major currencies on Monday, amid uncertainty about an interim trade deal between the U.S. and China.

Although earlier reports said China and the U.S. had discussed core issues during a high-level phone call on Saturday and that the talks were "constructive," a later report saying China is pessimistic about a deal due to U.S. President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs hurt the dollar.

If the two countries do not agree on a deal sometime soon, the next round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods may well take effect on December 15 as proposed earlier.

The dollar index weakened to a low of 97.68 a little before noon, but edged up gradually to 97.81 by late afternoon, trimming down its loss to about 0.19%.

Against the Euro, the dollar shed nearly 0.2%, easing to 1.1073.

The Pound Sterling gained as well against the greenback, strengthening to $1.2983, a four-week high. It was last seen at $1.2953, up 0.4% from previous close of $1.2902.

The Japanese Yen was down with a unit of dollar fetching 108.68 yen, compared with 108.51 yen last week.

The Aussie was down against the dollar at 0.6809, while the loonie and Swiss franc were gaining against the dollar with the respective pairs quoting at 1.3207 and 0.9893, respectively.

In U.S. economic news, a report from the National Association of Home Builders said homebuilder confidence in U.S. edged slightly lower in the month of November.

The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index slipped to 70 in November after climbing to 71 in October. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged.

The modest decrease came after the housing market index rose for four straight months to reach its highest level since hitting a matching reading in February of 2018.

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