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U.S. Dollar Gains After Fed Officials Remarks

The U.S. dollar gained in late trading on Wednesday, as several Federal Reserve officials showed different opinions and investors watched the war between Hamas and Israel for signs of escalation.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, rose 0.29 percent to 106.5588 in late trading.

Fed Governor Christopher Waller said Wednesday that he would like the central bank to wait on any further interest rate hikes while it evaluates the direction of the U.S. economy and inflation. “As of today, it is too soon to tell … I believe we can wait, watch, and see how the economy evolves before making definitive moves on the path of the policy rate.”

However, New York Fed President John Williams said interest rates will have to stay at restrictive levels “for some time” to bring inflation back down to the U.S. central bank’s 2 percent target.

“We’re going to stick at it to make sure that we really achieve that goal of 2 percent on a sustained basis,” Williams said Wednesday during a moderated conversation at Queens College in New York. “We need to keep this restrictive stance of policy in place for some time.”

In a separate speech, Fed Governor Michelle W. Bowman agreed that inflation has come down but it is still too high.

Meanwhile, the U.S. housing market in September displayed a blend of strengths and weaknesses across key metrics.

Building permits, a leading indicator for future construction, showed a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,473,000, a 4.4 percent decline from August and a 7.2 percent drop compared to last September, while housing starts rose 7 percent on a monthly basis in September, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The inflation rate in Britain held steady in September, with consumer prices overall rising 6.7 percent from a year earlier, and the eurozone CPI stood at 4.3 percent, according to the Office for National Statistics of the UK and the European Commission on Wednesday.

In late New York trading, the euro was down to 1.0536 U.S. dollars from 1.0570 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound was down to 1.2144 U.S. dollars from 1.2174 dollars.

The U.S. dollar bought 149.8980 Japanese yen, higher than 149.7680 Japanese yen of the previous session. The U.S. dollar decreased to 0.8990 Swiss francs from 0.9005 Swiss francs, and it rose to 1.3710 Canadian dollars from 1.3646 Canadian dollars. The U.S. dollar was up to 11.0259 Swedish krona from 10.9252 Swedish krona. 

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