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Global stocks turn higher as investors await U.S. data

SEOUL, South Korea - Global stock markets were mostly higher Wednesday as investors waited for U.S. jobs data to assess when the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates that have been at a record low.

Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.5 percent to 6,718.64 and France's CAC 40 rose 1.2 percent to 5,172.65. Germany's DAX advanced 1.3 percent to 11,602.91. Futures showed Wall Street was expected to rise, with S&P 500 futures up 0.6 percent and Dow futures 0.4 percent higher.

U.S. payroll processor ADP reports how many jobs private employers added in July, which will give some clues about monthly U.S. employment figures that are due Friday. Robust job creation will cement expectations for a U.S. interest rate hike in September or December. The Fed has kept interest rates ultra-low for several years, which has been a boon for stock markets. Also on Friday, the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, issues its index of non-manufacturing activity for July, which shows the status of U.S. service firms that represent a major portion of the world's biggest economy.

"Although the September or December continuum may continue to cause market gyrations in the coming one or two weeks, it is now very clear that we are getting very close to Fed lift-off," said Bernard Aw, a market strategist at IG. "The ADP number tonight would add some color to the expectations, while ISM services and trade balance data may also attract market attention."

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent to 20,614.06 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.1 percent to 2,029.76. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.4 percent to 24,514.16. China's Shanghai Composite Index lost ground after a rally in the previous session, falling 1.7 percent to 3,694.57. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.4 percent to 5,674.00. Stocks in Taiwan, India and Southeast Asia rose.

In energy trading, the price of oil rose for a second day. Benchmark U.S. crude added 29 cents to $46.03 a barrel on electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 57 cents to close at $45.74 a barrel in New York on Tuesday.

The dollar strengthened against major currencies. It rose to 124.37 yen from 124.30 yen. The euro fell to $1.0866 from $1.0892.