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Global Stocks Rise, With All Eyes on the Fed

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08/23/2019 | 05:46am EDT

By Caitlin Ostroff

-- European, Asian stocks up

-- U.S. stock futures rise

-- Treasury yields tick higher

Global stocks climbed on hopes of clear signals of interest-rate cuts ahead of a closely watched speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell later in the day.

The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.5% in morning trade after a broadly positive session in Asia, with the U.K.'s FTSE 100 up 0.7% and the German DAX up 0.5%.

In the U.S., futures on both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.4%. Futures don't necessarily predict moves after the opening bell.

Markets will be watching for clarity from Mr. Powell and other central-bank leaders at the Jackson Hole symposium on the likelihood of further moves to lift a stagnant global economy.

Lower interest rates would likely drive down bond yields further and rally equities, said Connor Campbell, a financial analyst for Spreadex. "They're putting a lot of their eggs in a central-bank basket," Mr. Campbell said of stock-market investors.

Mr. Powell is set to speak Friday at 10 a.m. ET. Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney will speak later in the day.

Analysts said the Fed chairman will have to show he is willing to take strong action to support the economy. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said Thursday at the gathering of central bankers that he was open to cutting rates in September.

Though Mr. Kaplan came out in support, other officials were split. In television interviews Thursday, the head of the Kansas City Fed and the Philadelphia Fed pushed back against the need for further rate cuts. The Fed's July rate move lowered its benchmark rate to a range between 2% and 2.25%.

Friday's rises in stocks came a day after a series of weak manufacturing data around the world had raised concerns about a possible recession, weighing on U.S. indexes.

Gains in Europe were led by technology firms, with the sector up 1.3%. Danish IT company SimCorp's shares climbed 5.5% after the company raised its revenue guidance.

Toronto-based and U.K.-listed Entertainment One's shares jumped 29% after toy maker Hasbro said it would buy it for $4 billion.

The yield on 10-year Treasurys rose to 1.645% on Friday, from 1.613% on Thursday. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

In currencies, the pound fell 0.3% against the U.S. dollar to $1.2207. Sterling also fell against the euro by 0.3%.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of its peers, ticked up 0.2%.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DAX 0.08% 12468.01 Delayed Quote.18.08%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.59% 26935.07 Delayed Quote.15.47%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) 0.04% 1.10189 Delayed Quote.-3.92%
FTSE 100 INDEX 0.28% 7234.11 End-of-day quote.0.00%
HASBRO, INC -2.72% 117.63 Delayed Quote.44.78%
NASDAQ 100 -0.99% 7823.553294 Delayed Quote.24.83%
NASDAQ COMP. -0.80% 8117.674437 Delayed Quote.23.32%
S&P 500 -0.49% 2992.07 Delayed Quote.19.36%
STOXX EUROPE 600 0.29% 392.95 Delayed Quote.16.04%
STOXX EUROPE 600 NR 0.29% 845.04 Delayed Quote.19.06%
US DOLLAR INDEX 0.25% 98.513 End-of-day quote.1.89%
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