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Fed search for Dudley's successor narrows to a 'handful'

NEW YORK, March 16 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said on Friday it is considering a "handful" of candidates to succeed President William Dudley, who plans to step down around midyear from what many consider the Fed's second-most influential job.

After a "small number" opted out of the process, the New York Fed "narrowed the list to a handful of final candidates who we are pleased to say are eminently qualified," the directors leading the search said in a statement. "We fully expect to decide on a final candidate, who we will then submit to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve for approval." (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)