Stock Futures Rise Ahead of Powell Comments


U.S. stock futures edged up ahead of comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that could yield clues as to when the central bank will begin scaling back its asset purchases.

S&P 500 futures gained 0.3% and futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%. Changes in equity futures don’t necessarily predict movements after the markets open.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2% in morning trade as gains in energy and real-estate sectors were offset by losses in utilities and healthcare sectors.

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jumped 3.1% for a three-session run of gains.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 meandered after the flat line. Other stock indexes in Europe were mixed as the U.K.’s FTSE 250 was broadly flat, whereas France’s CAC 40 was down 0.3% and Germany’s DAX was lower 0.2%.

The Swiss franc, the euro and the British pound strengthened 0.2%, 0.1% and 0.1% respectively against the U.S. dollar.

In commodities, Brent crude was up 1.6% to $71.29 a barrel. Gold also gained 0.6% to $1,806.30 a troy ounce.

The yield on German 10-year bunds declined to minus 0.413% and the yield on 10-year gilts fell to 0.599%. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield edged down to 1.341% from 1.342%. Yields move inversely to bond prices.

In Asia, indexes were mixed as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng notched a small gain, rising 0.1% after climbing up to 0.9% during the session and China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite climbed 0.6%, whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.4%.

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