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Housing Numbers Dent Dollar

Euros rise to $1.3644, up from $1.3604 late Tuesday.

The greenback was weakening against the euro and the pound Wednesday as new data showed continuing softness in the housing sector.

Euros were selling for $1.3644, up from $1.3604 late Tuesday. British pounds were buying $2.0178, up from $2.0142 a day earlier.

The National Association of Realtors said its index of pending home sales slid 12.2% in July when compared with a month earlier. On a year-over-year basis the drop was even higher, down 16.1%.

"The figures sound dreadful," says Lawrence Krohn, an economist with Standard New York Securities in New York City. "But it means the prospects for

a

Federal Reserve

ease have gone up slightly. The Fed meets again Sept. 18.

Such a move by the Fed would undoubtedly be a negative for the value of the greenback as foreign exchange investors would likely switch their holdings to other currencies with better expected returns.

The exchange-traded funds that track the various currencies were moving in line with action in the spot forex market. The

CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling Trust

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(FXB) - Get Report

and the

CurrencyShares Euro Trust

(FXE) - Get Report

were both rising about 0.3% in recent market activity.

In other currencies, the dollar was falling to 115.24 Japanese yen from 116.24 yen previously.

The

CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust

(FXY) - Get Report

was falling 0.5%.

Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar was softer on expectations the country's central bank will lean toward a more accommodative monetary policy. One dollar was buying NZ$1.4518 vs. $1.4391 a day earlier.