Global stocks rise on hopes Britain will stay in EU

BEIJING, China – Global stocks rose again Tuesday on optimism Britain will vote to stay in the European Union, as investors awaited an economic report by the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 per cent in early trading to 9,984.41 and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.2 per cent to 4,349.67. London’s FTSE 100 held steady at 6,200.30. On Monday, the CAC 40 rose 3.5 per cent and the DAX jumped 3.4 per cent. The FTSE added 3 per cent. Wall Street looked set for more gains, with the future for the Dow Jones industrial average up 0.3 per cent and that for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index up 0.4 per cent. On Monday, the Dow rose 0.7 per cent, the S&P advanced 0.6 per cent and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.8 per cent.

ASIA’S DAY: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 per cent to 16,169.11 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.7 per cent to 20,652.86. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.3 per cent to 5,374.40 and Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.1 per cent to 1,982.70. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 per cent to 2,878.56 and India’s Sensex shed 0.4 per cent to 26,799.43. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia also gained, while New Zealand and Singapore retreated.

BREXIT: Global stocks gained as opinion polls and betting markets indicated Britons will vote to remain in the European Union in a referendum Thursday. Many believe a departure, known informally as Brexit, would hurt the British economy and possibly encourage other countries to leave. Uncertainty about the outcome has weighed on global markets. The vote is expected to be close.

FED WATCH: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is to give a semiannual report on the U.S. economy to the Senate. The Fed suggested in a statement after its latest policy meeting that it needs a clearer economic picture before resuming interest rate hikes it began in December. Some economists think a July increase is possible if the job market rebounds from a dismal May and financial markets remain calm after Britain’s EU vote.

ANALYST’S QUOTE: “There has been little follow-through to the rapid recovery in sentiment witnessed during yesterday’s Asian trading session,” Citigroup analysts said in a report. With no major data due out in Asia, “investors will likely continue to focus on the calculus surrounding the U.K.’s EU referendum,” they said. “There will also be interest in tonight’s congressional testimony by Fed Chair Yellen.”

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks rose on optimism British voters will choose to stay in the EU. The British pound rose sharply and investors dumped ultra-safe assets like U.S. government bonds, gold and utility stocks, sending those prices lower. Machinery and consumer companies jumped and energy companies rose with the price of oil.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 23 cents to $49.73 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract soared $1.40 on Monday to close at $49.96. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 45 cents to $50.20 in London. It gained $1.48 on Monday to $50.65.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 104.46 yen from Monday’s 103.85 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1338 from $1.1323.