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US dollar rises as Fed official talks possible rate hike

[NEW YORK] The US dollar advanced Wednesday after a Federal Reserve official said the US central bank should consider hiking interest rates next month if economic data cooperate.

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, said the US central bank should weigh a rate hike if the March jobs report is solid, according to Bloomberg News.

"You get another strong jobs report, it looks like labor markets are improving, you could probably make a case for moving in April," Mr Bullard said.

The remarks came a week after the Fed kept interest rates unchanged and signaled a more gradual pace of rate increases due to slowing global growth.

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But Fed officials have adopted a different tone this week, said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange.

"A number of Fed speakers this week have so far sounded a generally hawkish tone with regards to the outlook for monetary policy, in a little bit of a contrast to what we saw last week in the Fed policy statement," he said.

"That's what's basically supporting the dollar."