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Following January’s impressive 11.7% increase, housing starts in the U.S. declined by 8.7% in February but came in better than the market expectation for a contraction of 28.3%. The U.S. Census Bureau further announced that building permits, which dropped by 0.7% in February, fell by 1.6% in the same period to fall short of the analysts’ estimate of -0.6%.

With the initial reaction, the US Dollar Index stretched higher and was last up 0.12% on the day at 96.62.