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CURRENCIES : Dollar Trades In Tight Ranges As Traders Eye Key Inflation Report

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07/14/2017 | 11:18am CET

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

Pound extends gain after hawkish BOE comments

The dollar struggled for direction on Friday, ahead of a set of closely watched inflation data that analysts say could help determine the next policy move from the Federal Reserve.

The ICE Dollar Index was marginally higher at 95.729, after mixed trading this week. The greenback has in recent days been driven by dovish comments from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who reiterated the central bank's plan to raise interest rates further, but also cautioned that rates don't need to rise significantly from here.

In that respect, the U.S. inflation data due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, will be scrutinized for any indications if it could weaken or strengthen the case for a rate hike later this year. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect the consumer-price index rose 0.1% month-on-month in June, while core inflation is seen coming in at 0.2%.

"It would seem that inflation is key to the pace of Fed tightening. After Fed Chair Yellen's somewhat cautious statement for her testimony suggested that the FOMC could ease back in its tightening if inflation persists, this has added anticipation of today's U.S. CPI numbers," said Richard Perry, market analyst at Hantec Markets, in a note.

"Sentiment looks reasonably positive ahead of U.S. inflation, but the data is sure to drive volatility on Treasuries, forex and commodities," he added.

U.S. stock futures ebbed lower Friday morning, while the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes were down slightly at 2.34%.

In other currencies, the pound moved higher, extending Thursday's gain. The advance came after hawkish comments from Bank of England policy maker Ian McCafferty, who called for an early end to the central bank's quantitative easing program.

Sterling bought $1.2960, compared with $1.2940 late Thursday in New York, and $1.2884 on Wednesday.

The euro fetched $1.1410, up slightly from $1.1399 on Thursday. The yen was flat, with the dollar buying Yen113.28.

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