Global stocks edge higher as focus turns to Jackson Hole
Global stocks generally advanced Friday as investors awaited developments from this weekend's meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.2 percent to 12,388 while the CAC 40 in France rose 0.4 percent to 5,442. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.2 percent higher at 7,578. U.S. stocks were poised for solid gains at the open with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures both 0.2 percent higher.
FED TALK: Traders were looking ahead to Friday's gathering of central bankers, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in Jackson Hole, an annual symposium that has often generated market-moving news. However, few market participants expect anything dramatic this year.
ANALYST TAKE: "This year's meeting is more about market structure than current monetary policy and so prepare for a non-event," said Neil Wilson, chief markets analyst at Markets.com. "Hard to see Powell using this to signal a retreat."
TRADE: Investors had their eye on the latest developments in the U.S.-China trade dispute as both nations ended their first high-level talks in two months with no sign of progress in breaking their deadlock. Markets showed little reaction to the latest round of dueling tariffs between the U.S. and China. The countries imposed 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion of each other's goods Thursday, including automobiles and factory equipment. The increases were announced previously.
AUSSIE SHAKEUP: Shares rose marginally after Australia's ruling party chose Treasurer Scott Morrison to become the next prime minister. Morrison is replacing Malcolm Turnbull, who resigned. Friday's ballot among Liberal Party lawmakers means Australia's sixth change of prime minister in 11 years, prolonging an era of extraordinary political instability. Morrison was regarded as the best economic manager among the candidates to replace Turnbull. Australia's S&P ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent higher to 6,247.30.
THE DAY IN ASIA: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index jumped 0.9 percent to 22,601.77. The Kospi in South Korea rose 0.5 percent to 2,293.21 while the Shanghai Composite index reversed early losses to gain 0.2 percent to 2,729.32. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.4 percent to 27,671.87.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 74 cents to $68.57 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 80 cents to $75.53 per barrel.
CURRENCIES: The euro rose 0.4 percent to $1.1588 while the dollar was steady at 111.29 yen.