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Stocks, U.S. yields gain ahead of Fed chair Powell's Jackson Hole speech

·3-min read

By Chibuike Oguh and Julien Ponthus

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) -Global equity markets and U.S. Treasury yields rose on Tuesday as positive U.S. vaccination news lifted sentiment, and as investors grew less worried the Federal Reserve was set to announce a timetable for tapering stimulus measures.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is to speak on Friday at the Fed's annual economic symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Last week, investors were worried the Fed was edging closer to tapering, or winding down its bond-buying program, but now they are much less confident Powell's speech will indicate such a timeline.

Benchmark 10-year yields rose two and a half basis points to 1.2969%. The yields are in a range after falling from a one-month high of 1.379% on Aug. 12, while holding above a six-month low of 1.127% reached earlier this month.

"I can't see a shift in monetary policy in the next two to three months", said Mikael Jacoby, head of continental European sales trading at Oddo Securities in Paris.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, rose another 0.57% after its 1.1% gain on Monday, setting it on a recovery course after last week's selloff.

In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 was broadly flat, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rallied 2.41%, with Chinese stocks rebounding after being hit by regulatory worries last week.

Spiking COVID-19 infections caused by the highly contagious Delta variant have fuelled concerns about the recovery, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval on Monday to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc, raising hopes inoculations could accelerate.

All three major U.S. stock indexes advanced higher, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closing at all-time closing highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.09% to 35,366.26, the S&P 500 gained 0.15% to 4,486.23 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.52%, to 15,019.80.[.N]

The dollar eased further as risk-related currencies benefited from rising commodity prices and markets digested data showing the U.S. economy in strong recovery mode.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.135% to 92.868.

Oil prices rose 3%, supported after Mexico suffered a large production outage due to a fire on an oil platform and also by full U.S. regulatory approval of vaccines for COVID-19.

Brent crude oil futures settled up $2.30, or 3.4%, at $71.05 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained $1.90, or 2.9%, to settle at $67.54.

Gold consolidated above $1,800 as some investors bet the recent surge in COVID-19 cases could steer the Fed away from announcing plans to taper.

Spot gold settled at $1,802.8199 per ounce, down 0.13% while U.S. gold futures gained 0.04% to $1,803.2.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York and Julien Ponthus in LondonEditing by Steve Orlofsky, Matthew Lewis and David Gregorio)

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