Global Markets Rise Ahead of Earnings, Central Bank Moves

By Georgi Kantchev and Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Global stock markets edged higher Tuesday as investors took positions ahead of several corporate earnings reports and key central bank moves.

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The Stoxx Europe 600 were up 0.1% in the early minutes of trading while bourses across Asia were mostly flashing green. On Wall Street, futures pointed to a 0.1% opening gain for the S&P 500, reversing from a loss on Monday after disappointing corporate earnings.

Investors were focused on the next batch of earnings reports, with nearly 200 companies in the S&P 500 on the week's earnings calendar, according to FactSet. Strong earnings in the previous quarters, as well as solid economic growth around the world, have underpinned stock markets and pushed them to record highs.

"It's a busy week for markets but risk assets continue to perform," said Richard Benson, co-head of portfolio investments at $18 billion fund Millennium Global Investments.

Central banks are another key focus for investors this week. The European Central Bank is set to announce changes to its massive bond-buying program after its meeting Thursday. Economists expect the ECB to reduce its monthly bond purchases, possibly by half, but also to extend the program for a number of months into next year.

Also of interest to markets, U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to unveil his pick for the new leader of the Federal Reserve within the next 10 days from a roster of candidates that include current Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen. Late Monday, Mr. Trump said he is "very, very close" to naming his pick.

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A hawkish candidate might send U.S. Treasury yields higher and boost the dollar, analysts say. Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rose to 2.385% from 2.375%. Yields move inversely to prices.

In currencies, the WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 currencies, was up 0.1%. The euro was down 0.1% against the greenback at $1.1744.

In China, the Communist Party congress, which started last week, is due to wrap up this week with President Xi Jinping expected to consolidate his power further through a new lineup of the country's leadership.

The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.2%. In Japan, the Nikkei extended its record-setting streak of daily gains to 16 on Tuesday by closing up 0.5%.

Oil futures also gained, with the Brent global benchmark rising 0.1% to $57.43 a barrel. Gold was also up, rising by 0.1%.

Write to Georgi Kantchev at georgi.kantchev@wsj.com and Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 24, 2017 03:51 ET (07:51 GMT)