Global stocks keep rising on hopes Britain will stay in EU

AP News
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Posted: Jun 21, 2016 7:18 AM
Global stocks keep rising on hopes Britain will stay in EU

BEIJING (AP) — Global stocks rose again Tuesday on optimism Britain will vote to stay in the European Union, as investors awaited an economic report by the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

KEEPING SCORE: London's FTSE 100 edged up almost 0.1 percent to 6,204 while Germany's DAX rose 0.6 percent to 10,019 and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.6 percent to 4,368. Wall Street looked set for more gains, with futures for the Dow Jones industrial average up 0.4 percent and those for the Standard & Poor's 500 index up 0.5 percent.

BREXIT: Opinion polls and betting markets indicate that Britons are more likely to vote to remain in the European Union in a referendum Thursday. Many believe a departure, known informally as Brexit, would hurt the British and European economies and possibly encourage other countries to leave. Uncertainty about the outcome has weighed on global markets. The vote is expected to be close.

FED WATCH: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is to give a semiannual report on the U.S. economy to the Senate. The Fed suggested in a statement after its latest policy meeting that it needs a clearer economic picture before resuming interest rate hikes it began in December. Some economists think a July increase is possible if the job market rebounds from a dismal May and financial markets remain calm after Britain's EU vote.

ANALYST'S QUOTE: "Investors will likely continue to focus on the calculus surrounding the U.K.'s EU referendum," Citigroup analysts said in a report. "There will also be interest in tonight's congressional testimony by Fed Chair Yellen."

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent to 16,169.11 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.7 percent to 20,652.86. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 5,374.40 and Seoul's Kospi gained 0.1 percent to 1,982.70. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent to 2,878.56 and India's Sensex shed 0.4 percent to 26,799.43. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia also gained, while New Zealand and Singapore retreated.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 60 cents to $48.77 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract soared $1.40 on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 67 cents to $50.62 in London. It gained $1.48 on Monday.

CURRENCIES: The pound continued to strengthen on the views that Britain is more likely to vote to not leave the EU. It was up another 0.3 percent, adding to big gains on Monday, to $1.4737 — its highest level since early January. The dollar rose to 104.72 yen from Monday's 103.85 yen. The euro edged down to $1.1320 from $1.1323.