European Shares Look Headed For Positive Start Ahead Of Powell’s Speech

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European stocks look set to open higher on Friday after Wall Street’s main indexes ended sharply higher overnight, lifted by gains in Nvidia and other technology-related stocks.

Asian markets traded mostly higher after reports suggested that Washington and Beijing are close to an agreement that could allow U.S. regulators to travel to Hong Kong to inspect the audit records of Chinese companies listed in New York.

The agreement could prevent many Chinese companies from being delisted from American stock exchanges.

The dollar held firm against the euro and sterling, as investors await Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s widely-anticipated speech in the Jackson Hole Symposium later in the day for clues on the central bank’s tightening plans.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields rose and oil prices gained around $1 a barrel on signs of improving fuel demand, while gold prices were a tad lower in Asian trade.

Consumer confidence survey results from Germany and France are due later in the session. GfK’s German forward-looking consumer confidence index is seen at -31.8 versus -30.6 in August. The French consumer confidence index is seen at 79 in August, down from 80 in July.

U.S. stocks closed on a strong note overnight, as jobless claims declined in the latest week and a revision for Q2 GDP showed a smaller decline compared to an earlier reading.

Ahead of a key speech by Fed Chair Powell, Kansas City Fed president Esther George told CNBC that there is more work to be done to curb inflation but It was too soon to predict the size of the September rate hike.

The Dow rallied 1 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 1.4 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 1.7 percent.

European stocks closed broadly higher on Thursday, as Beijing announced a slew of measures to spur economic growth and the July ECB meeting minutes revealed that there was a split over the 50-bps rate hike to combat soaring inflation.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.3 percent. The German DAX rose 0.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent while France’s CAC 40 finished marginally lower.

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