Wednesday 18 September, 2019

Global stocks mostly rise ahead of US Fed release

People stand by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019.  (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

People stand by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Global stock markets were back in positive territory Wednesday as investors looked ahead to a speech by the Federal Reserve chairman for signs of possible plans for more U.S. interest rate cuts.

Market benchmarks in London and Frankfurt rose in early trading. On Wall Street, the futures for the S&P 500 index rose 0.7% to 2,918 and futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.6% to 26,085.

After a three-day run of gains, U.S. stocks fell Tuesday after a slide in bond yields and a mixed batch of corporate earnings. Financial sector stocks led the declines.

Investors are now looking ahead to the Fed's Wednesday release of notes from its policymaking meeting last month and a speech Friday by Chairman Jerome Powell.

Markets have "entered a holding pattern" ahead of Powell's afternoon speech at an annual gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a report.

Investors expect Powell to signal the Fed "is about to embark on a reinvigorated wave of easing," said Halley. However, he said U.S. data "simply does not support the need for an aggressive easing cycle."

London's FTSE 100 rose 1.1% in midday trading to 7,205 and Frankfurt's DAX also climbed 1.1% to 11,784. France's CAC-40 jumped 1.5% to 5,426.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.3% to close at 20,618.57. Hong Kong's Hang Seng inched up 0.2% to finish at 26,270.04. The Shanghai Composite Index was little changed at 2,880.33.

Seoul's Kospi gained 0.2% to 1,964.65 while Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.9% to 6,483.30. India's Sensex lost 0.6% to 37,114.28.

Taiwan was higher and New Zealand was lower, while Southeast Asian markets were mixed.

The U.S. market has been volatile this month as investors try to parse conflicting signals on the U.S. economy and determine whether a recession is on the horizon. A key concern is that the U.S.-Chinese tariff war will weigh on global economic growth.

ON TARGET: After mixed results from retailers on Tuesday, Target Corp. topped expectations Wednesday for its second quarter as it pushes faster delivery and invests heavily in new private label brands. Shares in the retailer jumped 15% in premarket trading.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 63 cents to $56.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 1 cent on Tuesday to close at $56.13. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 96 cents to $60.99 per barrel in London. The contract advanced 27 cents the previous session to $60.03.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 106.45 yen from Tuesday's 106.22. The euro inched up to $1.1105.

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