CURRENCIES: Dollar Largely Gains, With Aussie Whacked By Soft Inflation Figure

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Pound rises after U.K. GDP beats forecasts

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The dollar gained on most of its rivals Wednesday, with analysts pinning the advance in part on bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve's next boss either will pick up the pace with interest-rate hikes or stay the course.

Where currencies are trading

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index , which tracks the buck's performance against six currencies, rose to 93.914, up from 93.897 late Tuesday in New York. The gauge on Wednesday has come close to touching its highest level since Oct. 6, according to FactSet data.

The Australian dollar tumbled to $0.7713 from $0.7777, as a disappointing reading on Australian inflation (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/australian-inflation-rebound-falls-short-2017-10-25) weighed.

Versus the Canadian dollar , the greenback traded at C$1.2689, up modestly from C$1.2675, ahead of a Bank of Canada meeting on Wednesday where no change in rates is expected.

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Read:Has the Canadian dollar topped out? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/has-the-canadian-dollar-topped-out-2017-10-20)

The euro changed hands at $1.1770, slightly higher from $1.1761 late Tuesday, and against the Japanese yen , the dollar bought Yen114.11, up a bit from Yen113.91.

See:Why Abe's Japanese election victory could push the dollar above 115 yen (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-why-abes-japanese-election-victory-could-push-dollar-above-115-yen-by-year-end-2017-10-23)

The British pound rose to $1.3180, up from $1.3133 late Tuesday, in the wake of a stronger-than-expected figure for U.K. economic growth (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-gdp-picks-up-pace-as-boe-gets-set-to-meet-2017-10-25). A flash figure signaled third-quarter gross domestic product rose by 0.4%, above the 0.3% FactSet consensus estimate.

What analysts are saying

"There is a growing sense that the identity of the next Fed chair is coming down to one of two men, Jerome Powell (effectively a continuity candidate from within the FOMC) and John Taylor (an outsider seen as a hawkish move)," said Richard Perry, a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note Wednesday, referring to current current Fed official Powell and Stanford University economist Taylor.

"This is impacting on Treasury yields, with the 2-year Treasury yield breaking further into multi-year highs and the 10-year also pulling above a key barrier of 2.40%. This is helping to drive the dollar higher."

Read:Trump indicates Taylor and Powell could be named together to top Fed roles (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-indicates-taylor-and-powell-could-be-named-together-to-top-fed-roles-2017-10-20)

And see:Who's the next Fed boss? Brace for a 'Trumpian surprise' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/whos-the-next-fed-boss-brace-for-a-trumpian-surprise-2017-10-20)

What else is driving the market

Traders are bracing for a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday. Policy makers led by President Mario Draghi may say they're planning to reduce monthly asset purchases from EUR60 billion ($70.5 billion).

See:Mario Draghi needs to avoid a 'taper tantrum' when the ECB meets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mario-draghi-needs-to-avoid-a-taper-tantrum-when-the-ecb-meets-2017-10-23)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/eurozone-economy-appears-to-slow-in-october-2017-10-24)Which economic reports are in focus?

September reports on U.S. durable goods orders and new-home sales are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time and 10 a.m. Eastern, respectively. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect 0.7% growth for durable goods orders and 555,000 homes sold.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 25, 2017 05:35 ET (09:35 GMT)