Global stocks mostly rise on hopes for higher U.S. rates

MoneyWatch

TOKYO - Global shares were mostly higher Tuesday as hopes continued for a U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike later this year.

France’s CAC 40 added 0.4 percent to 4,441.93 and Germany’s DAX rose 0.7 percent to 10,621.31. Britain’s FTSE 100 inched down less than 0.1 percent to 6,834.22.

U.S. shares were set to stay little changed: Both Dow and S&P futures were flat.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was down less than 0.1 percent, to close at 16,725.36. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4 percent to 2,039.74. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.9 percent to 23,028.02, while the Shanghai Composite inched up 0.2 percent to 3,074.68.

Major U.S. banks posted solid gains on Wall Street as traders bet that the Fed was likely to nudge interest rates higher in December or even at its next policy meeting in September. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a conference last week that the case for raising rates was strengthening given improvements in the economy.

“The Federal Reserve’s rate-hike decision is largely based on three main indicators: the performance of the labor market, economic activity and inflation. In light of strong jobs reports over the last two months, the likelihood of an impending rate hike has substantially increased,” said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.

Global markets are awaiting the U.S. Labor Department monthly jobs data, being released Friday, for signs on whether a U.S. recovery is on solid footing. Data on Japan released Tuesday showed an improvement in unemployment, but worries about growth momentum remain.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 10 cents to $47.08. It had fallen 66 cents to $46.98 a barrel Monday. Brent crude, used to price oil internationally, fell 1 cent to $49.44 a barrel.

The dollar rose 102.33 yen from 102.21 yen late Monday. The euro was slightly lower at $1.1174 from $1.1177.