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US Existing Home Sales surprised and reached 4.82 million (annualized). Expectations stood on a rise from an annual pace of 4.47 million to 4.57 million this time.

EUR/USD remains above the important 1.30 mark. USD/JPY traded around 78.50 prior to the publication. The dollar is  strengthening against both of these currencies.

This is the highest level seen since September 2011. Most transactions of homes are of existing (second hand) homes. However, new home sales trigger more economic activity around them.

US Building Permits reached a level of 0.80 million in August, marginally above expectations of 0.79 million, but lower than last month’s 0.81 million.

Housing starts were expected to climb to 0.77 million and reached 0.75 million, still higher than 0.73 million recorded in the previous month.

The housing sector has been one of the brighter spots in the US economy of late. However, when Bernanke announced QE3, he stressed that rising home prices and stocks would cause a wealth effect and would encourage Americans to spend.