Stocks Advance Ahead of Fed Minutes

By Justin Yang and Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Wall Street to open higher

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-- Market awaits Fed minutes

-- European, Asian stocks broadly higher

Global equities continued to rebound Wednesday after last week's declines.

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8% Wednesday, while futures pointed toward the S&P 500 opening 0.2% higher.

Investors were on watch for the release later Wednesday of the Federal Reserve's minutes from its last meeting for indications on where interest rates are headed. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said another rate rise is still likely in 2017.

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"I'm interested to see what the Fed has to say about the inflation landscape," said David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc.

Weak inflation in the U.S. had Fed officials debating whether it was a temporary phenomenon or a sign of an underlying economic weakness in the last round of meeting minutes.

Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV were up 2.5% after the company announced Wednesday it was joining a BMW-led self-driving car technology alliance. Chemical company Akzo Nobel NV climbed 1% after it reached a truce with activist investor firm Elliot Management.

In the U.S., retail giant Target Corp. rose 5.3% in premarket trade after its second-quarter earnings report beat analyst expectations.

Equities were broadly higher in Asia, as short positions over tensions in the Korean Peninsula unwound. However, caution remains ahead of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises next week, analysts say.

Stock benchmarks in China, Australia, South Korea and Hong Kong were up so far this week, as investors found value in high-growth stocks following last week's pullback, which many analysts believed was overdue.

The Shanghai Composite Index pared early losses to trade 0.2% lower, with large caps succumbing to selling pressure after recent gains. Stocks were higher in Hong Kong, with the Hang Seng Index up 0.9%.

"We have had an uncharacteristic bull market in the past few months," said Michael Parker, Asia-Pacific equity strategist at Bernstein. "During a bull market, the sharper the one-day selloff, the better the buying opportunity."

Gold continued to come under pressure as the geopolitical environment relaxed, falling 0.3%.

On Tuesday, South Korea's president called for renewed talks with the North, saying the U.S. would need Seoul's consent for any military action on the Korean Peninsula, which helped to ease tensions.

The South Korean Kospi outperformed as traders returned from a public holiday to catch up with the region's earlier gains. The benchmark index was up 0.6% after opening about 1% higher.

In Hong Kong, improved risk-taking appetite prompted strong buying among Chinese banking and casino gambling stocks.

In Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average edged down 0.1%, even as the U.S. dollar was up 0.1% against the yen. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, edged up 0.1%.

Broad gains in the dollar came after data from the U.S. Commerce Department showed retail sales rising 0.6% from a month earlier, the biggest jump since December, with much of that coming from internet sales.

John Wu contributed to this article.

Write to Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 16, 2017 08:29 ET (12:29 GMT)