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The annual pace of sales of existing homes dropped to 4.75 million. A slide from 4.83 million reported for August (after revisions) to 4.73 million was expected.

EUR/USD was trading steadily around 1.3050 prior to the publication. USD//JPY was around 79.30. Both pairs ticking very slightly lower.

Earlier in the week, building permits and housing starts both exceeded expectations, big time: permits leaped to a pace of 0.89 million (from 0.81), and housing starts jumped to 0.87 million (from 0.76).

The US housing sector remains the stronger sector of the US economy at the moment, with manufacturing lagging behind. However, this relative strength is only relative – the sector isn’t shining.

EUR/USD is stuck above 1.3050, and lacks momentum in any direction. USD/JPY had an interesting week, moving up, but not reaching the magical 80 line.