Investing.com - Asia stocks rose Friday as, as investors looked
to the forum of global central banker meeting in Jackson Hole,
Key among the speeches in Jackson Hole on Friday will be the
comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.
Investors are looking for indications of when the U.S. plans to
increase interest rates.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.2%, having risen as much as
4.7% in the past two weeks amid domestic earnings news.
Big banks in Australia were higher with ANZ Banking Group
(ASX:ANZ) gaining 0.5%.
Elsewhere, South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.3%. The Nikkei 225 was
up just 0.2%, after closing up 0.9% Thursday.
Overnight, U.S. stocks rose boosted by a double shot of positive
U.S. data coupled with expectations that Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen will deliver a market-friendly speech on Friday.
The Dow 30 rose 0.36%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.29%, while
the NASDAQ Composite index rose 0.12%.
The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its July policy
meeting on Wednesday, and the document revealed that interest rates
could rise sooner rather than later if the labor market continues
Stocks rose on Thursday even amid sentiments that buying costs
are set to rise, as many investors bet Yellen will provide dovish
words in a Jackson Hole speech on Friday to complement the hawkish
minutes in order to convey to markets that even though rates will
rise, monetary authorities will make sure they do so gradually.
Upbeat U.S. data also boosted stock prices.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its
manufacturing index topped a three-year high of 28.0 this month
from July's 23.9 reading. Analysts had expected the index to
decline to 19.2 in July.
Separately, market research group Markit said that its
preliminary U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers' index increased
to a four-year high of 58.0 this month from a final reading of 55.8
in July. Analysts had expected the index to ease down to 55.7 in
Data also showed that U.S. existing home sales increased 2.4% to
5.15 million units last month from 5.03 million in June. Analysts
had expected existing home sales to dip 0.4% to 5.02 million units
Also on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number
of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week
ending Aug. 16 decreased by 14,000 to 298,000 from the previous
week's revised total of 312,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 12,000 to
300,000 last week.
On Friday, expect markets to move on speeches delivered by Fed
Chair Janet Yellen and ECB President Mario Draghi at the annual
economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
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