Stocks, oil resilient amid cautious optimism on economy

Tokyo, Aug. 1 (BNA): Stocks were mostly resilient and oil hovered near recent highs on Tuesday as investors stayed positive over global economic prospects even as data showed signs of risks.

 

European stocks fell 0.2%, stepping back from a 2% gain in July, its second month of gains.

 

UK stocks edged up 0.1%, however, with HSBC climbing 2.6% after announcing a $2 billion share buyback and raising its key profitability target.

 

Investors are readying for an end to a series of U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, with an increase last week widely seen as one of the last in its current tightening cycle, Reuters reported.

 

Wall Street futures indexes were set to open flat. The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, fell 0.1% after gaining 3.5% last month

 

Oil prices traded near a three-month high hit on Monday amid signs of tightening global supply. Also buoying prices were producers cutting output and demand in the United States, the world’s biggest fuel consumer, remaining resilient.

 

Brent crude futures were last down 0.6% at $85.25, losing ground during London trading. Energy giant BP gained 0.2% and boosted its dividend by 10% after reporting a second-quarter profit of $2.6 billion.

 

The dollar, meanwhile, hit a three-week high against the yen as investors continued to seek clarity on the Bank of Japan’s recent adjustment to its yield curve control and what that might mean for monetary policy.

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MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares inched back toward the high reached Monday, which was its strongest since April last year.

 

Japan’s Nikkei provided support, gaining 0.9% on the back of a weaker yen.

 

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