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World markets climb ahead of some key events

Wells Fargo exec's well-timed stock trades

LONDON - Global stocks pushed higher Tuesday ahead of the release of Chinese growth figures and, later in the week, a policy meeting of the European Central Bank as well as the final U.S. presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

As of around 8:30 a.m. Eastern, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 1.2 percent at 7,033, while Germany’s DAX rose 1.2 percent at 10,628. The CAC-40 in France was 1.4 percent higher at 4,514.

U.S. stocks were poised for a solid opening, with Dow futures up 0.5 percent and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.6 percent.

Still, a number of events over the rest of the week could impinge on investor sentiment. Particularly interesting to traders will be third-quarter growth data out of China on Wednesday. Worries over the Chinese economy have surfaced on several occasions this year to keep sentiment in check.

This report is expected to show annual growth steady at 6.7 percent. Anything substantially below that could prompt some jitters and be reflected across financial assets.

“Markets appear optimistic going into risk events including tonight’s China GDP growth update, Wednesday’s final Trump vs Clinton debate and Thursday’s ECB policy decision,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

The main focus of attention later in the day will be the release of U.S. inflation data for September. The consensus in the markets is that the headline rate edged higher to 1.5 percent, while the core rate, which strips out volatile items such as food and energy, held steady at 2.3 percent.

The dollar’s near-term fortunes could hinge on whether those numbers are higher or lower than anticipated. A higher number will likely cement expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again this year, and that could give the dollar a boost. Anything lower could have the opposite effect.

The euro was flat at $1.10, while the dollar rose 0.1 percent to 103.97 yen.

U.S. benchmark crude oil added 28 cents to $50.21 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 35 cents at $51.87 a barrel in London.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.4 percent to 16,964, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.6 percent to 2,040. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 1.6 percent to 23,394, and China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.4 percent to 3,084. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4 percent to 5,411.

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