U.S. stock futures rose Friday as Wall Street looked toward Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s Jackson Hole speech. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up 115 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 futures advanced 0.2%, while Nasdaq-100 futures were slightly above flat. The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium in Wyoming brings together central bankers and key financial officials from across the world. During last year’s gathering, stocks fell following Powell’s hawkish speech. The chair used the forum to warn of “some pain” ahead in the battle against inflation. This year, the event’s stated topic is a focus on “structural shifts in the global economy.” “As always, investors will be parsing comments from Powell and others about the likely road ahead — mainly whether interest rates may remain at relatively high levels for an extended period of time, even if inflation continues to decline from current levels,” said Zachary Hill, head of portfolio strategy at Horizon Investments. The strategist believes any market volatility resulting from Powell’s comments, which begin Friday at 10:05 am ET, will be short-lived. “We expect volatility and position adjustments around events like Jackson Hole, but we broadly view the recent action across equities and fixed income as more of a healthy correction than a new trend,” Hill said. Wall Street is coming off a downbeat session, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq failing to hold an early rally sparked by strong Nvidia earnings. Both benchmarks had their biggest one-day losses since Aug. 2, while the Dow suffered its biggest pullback since March. Despite Thursday’s declines, both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are holding on to weekly gains of 0.2% and 1.3%, respectively. If the two averages manage end the week in the green, they would break a 3-week losing streak. U.S. Treasury yields were slightly higher on Friday, as traders await Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments at the central bank’s Jackson Hole symposium. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note added more than 1 basis point to 4.247%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond inched higher to 4.309%. Yields move inversely to prices. Asia-Pacific markets fell across the board as investors prepared for signals on U.S. monetary policy from central bankers’ comments at the Jackson Hole meeting on Friday, including a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell. Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 2.05%, leading losses in Asia and closing at 31,624.28. The Topix was down 0.88%, ending at 2,266.4. Both indexes snapped four-day winning streaks. Core inflation rate for Japan’s capital Tokyo came in at 2.8% for August, slightly below the 2.9% expected by economists polled by Reuters. The core inflation rate strips out prices of fresh food. Overall inflation for Tokyo was recorded at 2.9%, lower than the 3.2% seen in July.In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 also lost 0.93%, ending at 7,115.2. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.73%, finishing at 2,519.14 and the Kosdaq was lower by 0.26%, closing at 899.38. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 1.28% in its final hour, while mainland Chinese markets saw a smaller loss, with the CSI 300 slipping 0.38% and ending at 3,709.15. Oil prices jumped more than 1% on Friday as the dollar firmed ahead of an eagerly awaited speech by the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve for hints on the outlook for interest rates. Brent crude rose $1.06, or about 1.3%, to $84.42 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up $1, also roughly 1.3%, at $80.05. Gold prices edged lower on Friday as the U.S. dollar reclaimed a 2-1/2 month peak, but the metal was headed for its best week in six ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that could offer clues on the interest rate outlook. Spot gold eased 0.2% to $1,913.90 per ounce by 0323 GMT, while U.S. gold futures shed 0.3% to $1,942. Gold has risen about 1.3% so far in the week, which could be its first week of gains this month, as prices climbed to their highest since Aug. 10 on Thursday after a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields.
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