CURRENCIES: Dollar Rises As Traders Wait To See If Fed's Powell Will Give Hawkish Hints

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Strategist: Powell's 'hearing is unlikely to produce much volatility, unless he assumes a decidedly more hawkish posture'

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The dollar advanced against most of its major rivals Tuesday, as traders braced for remarks from Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve official who is poised to become the central bank's new leader.

Where are currencies trading?

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was about 0.1% higher at 93.017, building on Monday's modest gain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-hovers-at-2-month-high-buoyed-by-hopes-for-german-breakthrough-2017-11-27). The gauge remains down for the year, showing a drop of 9%.

The euro changed hands at $1.1889, down slightly from $1.1900 late Monday in New York, while the British pound slipped to $1.3301, down from $1.3319.

Against the Japanese yen , the buck traded at Yen111.31, up from Yen111.10 late Monday.

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What could help drive the market?

Powell is scheduled to testify at a Senate confirmation hearing (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/meet-the-next-fed-boss-same-as-the-old-boss-jerome-powell-to-face-senate-glare-2017-11-26) at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, giving investors their first big clue on how he hopes to operate at the Fed. His opening statement for the hearing was released Monday, indicating he expects Federal Open Market Committee policy makers will stay on the course (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/powell-to-testify-fed-will-continue-to-hike-interest-rates-shrink-the-balance-sheet-2017-11-27) set by the current Fed chief, Janet Yellen.

What are strategists saying?

"Since Mr. Powell is seen as a continuity appointment, his hearing is unlikely to produce much volatility unless he assumes a decidedly more hawkish posture," said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of foreign-exchange strategy at BK Asset Management, in a note.

"His style should not be a jolt to the market, but there is always a chance that he may want to assert his own presence on the FOMC, so any hint of such action could spark a rally in the buck."

What other economic news is expected today?

On the data front, an October report on advance trade in goods is slated to hit at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, with economics polled by MarketWatch forecasting a deficit of $65 billion. A September release on home prices is due at 9 a.m. Eastern, and a November figure for a consumer confidence index is on tap for 10 a.m. Eastern, with a reading of 124.8 expected.

Read:Bond traders don't care about nonfarm payrolls anymore (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bond-traders-dont-care-about-nonfarm-payrolls-anymore-in-one-chart-2017-11-27)

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker is due to give a speech on financial safety for the aging population at his bank's headquarters at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, and New York Fed President William Dudley is slated to give opening remarks at a conference on the U.S. Treasury markets at 9:15 a.m. Eastern.

Late Monday, Dudley said he still expects a strong job market will help push inflation up over time, and he repeated his view that low inflation with low unemployment is "not actually a bad thing (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-dudley-expects-strong-job-market-will-eventually-boost-inflation-2017-11-27)."

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 28, 2017 06:53 ET (11:53 GMT)