The euro gained significant ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.5000 figure and was supported around the $1.4850 level.  Traders continue to hammer the U.S. dollar despite verbal intervention by U.S. and European officials intent on talking the greenback higher. Over the past couple of weeks, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Geithner, and European Central Bank President Trichet have reiterated their support for the long-standing strong U.S. dollar policy.  Trichet reiterated his support for the dollar today, saying he considers it extremely important that U.S. authorities are supportive of the dollar.  Trichet today talked about the ECB's monetary policy, reporting There is an increasingly pressing need for ambitious and realistic fiscal exit strategies and for fiscal consolidation.  He added some countries, like Spain, are close to losing their fiscal credibility.  Trichet said the freefall of the global economic crisis has ended and the ECB last week said it will tighten some collateral standards involving the types of asset-backed securities it accepts for refinancing operations.  St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President Bullard today suggested the Fed should extend its program to purchase mortgage-backed securities and agency bonds past the current deadline of March 2010.  Bullard said a policy like this would give the Fed the option to react to future news as it comes in.  Data released in the U.S. today saw October existing home sales print at a stronger-than-expected 6.10 million level on an annualized basis, up 10.1% m/m.  These data are consistent with other recent data evidencing a pick-up in residential housing market activity.  Other data released today saw the Chicago Fed's October national activity index print at -1.08, down from a revised September reading of -1.01.  Data to be released in the U.S. tomorrow include Q3 gross domestic product growth with a print around 2.8% expected by some economists.  Indian Prime Minister Singh today said there is no replacement for the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency.  In eurozone news, ECB member Ordonez cautiously reported We don't know yet if the incipient global economic recovery has enough independent support for a stimulus withdrawal without running the risk of a new drop in activity.  Data released in the eurozone today saw the EMU-16 November composite purchasing managers index climb to 53.7 from 53.0 in October.  The manufacturing PMI reading climbed to 51.0 while the services PMI reading printed at 53.2.  Notably, activity in France's private sector expanded at its fastest pace in three years.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4445 level.