Global markets push ahead as central bankers ready to meet

Global stock markets were solid Thursday as investors awaited speeches by the world's top central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent to 7,420. France's CAC 40 advanced 0.2 percent to 5,123 while Germany's DAX was up 0.3 percent at 12,222. Wall Street was headed for a solid opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.2 percent.

FED WATCH: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and other central bankers will assess the global economy at this week's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are due to speak on Friday. No major policy changes are anticipated but traders remain cautious.

ANALYST TAKE: "Financial assets, whether it's equities, currencies, or fixed income, are trading in very tight ranges, and I expect such moves to continue throughout the day," said FXTM Chief Market Strategist, Hussein Sayed. "With the lack of tier one economic data, investors are bracing for some hints from the annual central bank gathering at Jackson Hole."

ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets finished mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4 percent to 19,353.77 but South Korea's Kospi rose 0.4 percent to 2,375.84. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 0.4 percent to 27,518.60 while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 percent to 3,271.51. Australia's S&P ASX 200 added 0.1 percent to 5,745.50. Stocks in Southeast Asia were mixed.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 19 cents to $48.22 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, the international pricing standard, fell 15 cents to $52.42 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.18 while the dollar rose 0.3 percent to 109.39 yen.