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Markets

Markets waver as investors eye Jackson Hole

  • London stocks advanced 0.2 percent in midday deals
Published August 25, 2021

LONDON: Europe's stocks wavered on Wednesday as dealers awaited this week's key Jackson Hole symposium of central bankers, with particular focus on Fed chief Jerome Powell.

London stocks advanced 0.2 percent in midday deals, while Paris added 0.3 percent and Frankfurt sagged 0.1 percent in early afternoon eurozone trade.

Oil prices edged lower after jumping more than eight percent in the previous two days on hopes for a demand rebound.

"Traders and investors worldwide may have to wait until Friday before sending asset prices on their next big move, with Powell's speech eagerly awaited as the next big potential catalyst," said Exinity Group analyst Han Tan.

Powell's upcoming speech to central bankers and economists will be examined for clues on the Fed's plans for monetary policy -- with an eye on the Delta Covid variant's impact on growth.

Asian markets were also mixed, with news that US President Joe Biden's multi-trillion-dollar spending plans were edging closer providing another colossal boost, but the optimism was offset by profit-taking after a strong start to the week.

Global markets had jumped Monday on bargain-hunting after last week's retreat, with traders riding a wave of renewed optimism.

Stocks were battered last week by worries over the fast-spreading Delta variant, Afghanistan turmoil, China concerns, and expectations that the Fed will begin tapering financial support.

However, the US Food and Drug Administration's decision on Monday to give full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine has also given a huge lift to sentiment and eased Delta worries in the world's top economy.

European stocks inch up as travel shares offset weak German business sentiment data

That came as some countries including the United States see infection spikes easing, while China appears to have overcome a weeks-long outbreak. Still, others such as Australia, Japan, and New Zealand remain in a tough battle with the disease, forcing them into containment measures.

The FDA move "is paving the way for organisations to mandate vaccines for workers and thus lift vaccination rates higher", said National Australia Bank's Tapas Strickland.

Wall Street enjoyed another strong day on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 at a record and the Nasdaq topping 15,000 for the first time.

Buying was helped by news that Democrats in the House of Representatives had settled internal differences to push forward Biden's massive spending bill.

Key figures around 1100 GMT

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,139.80 points

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 15,885.01

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 6,681.21

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 4,184.47

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: FLAT at 27,724.80 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.1 percent at 25,693.95 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.7 percent at 3,540.38 (close)

New York - Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 35,366.26 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1752 from $1.1756

Pound/dollar: UNCHANGED at $1.3729

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.57 pence from 85.63 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 109.80 yen from 109.65 yen

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.4 percent at $67.25 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.3 percent at $70.84 per barrel

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