The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.5140 level and was supported around the $1.5040 level. The common currency came off intraday and near multi-month highs after European Central Bank President Trichet verbally intervened again to support the dollar, noting Europe has a very strong stake in a strong dollar. This follows recent intervention from him, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner. As expected, the ECB kept interest rates unchanged at 1% today and announced it will gradually phase out special liquidity measures. Specifically, the central bank will begin to index its lending operations to market rates instead of providing liquidity at a fixed rate as they have been. Despite the ECB's slight change in overall monetary policy, officials there want to make sure they adequately manage interest rate expectations. ECB member Weber called on Germany to adopt new insolvency requirements to protect itself from systemically relevant banks. Data released in the eurozone today saw October retail sales remain flat m/m and decline 1.9% y/y while Q3 gross domestic product was up 0.4% q/q and off 4.1% y/y. Economists expressed concern that consumer spending contracted 0.2% in the third quarter and was a net drag on overall economic growth. Additionally, November PMI services moved higher to 53.0 from 52.6 and German November services PMI rallied improved to 51.4 from 50.7. In U.S. news, Q3 non-farm productivity fell to 8.1% from the prior reading of 9.5% while Q3 unit labour costs improved to -2.5% from the prior reading of -5.2%. Also, weekly initial jobless claims fell to 457,000 from a revised 462,000 and continuing jobless claims climbed to 5.465 milion from 5.437 million. Also, the November ISM services survey fell to 48.7 from 50.6 in October. Fed Chairman Bernanke's renomination hearings started today in Congress and Bernanke defended the Fed's record on regulation and bailouts. Treasury Secretary Geithner today indicated deficits do matter and said global trade flows are critical for the U.S.'s future. Geithner also said the largest challenge for the U.S. is reviving economic growth. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4720 level.