A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 25, 2019. Asian shares have rallied after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs. South Korea’s Kospi sank early Thursday after North Korea launched two short range missiles into the sea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

World stocks rise as ECB signals more stimulus coming

July 25, 2019 - 8:26 am

BANGKOK (AP) — World stocks turned higher Tuesday after the European Central Bank signaled it could cut interest rates or provide other forms of monetary stimulus to help the economy.

The ECB, which sets interest rates for the 19 countries that use the euro, hinted it could cut rates in coming months and has asked its staff to study a possible new round of bond purchases, which add newly created money into the economy.

Stocks rose on the news while and the euro dropped, as looser monetary policy tends to cheapen a currency.

In signaling more stimulus, the ECB joins the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world in trying to help growth through a period of uncertainties, including over trade disputes the U.S. is waging with several countries, particularly China.

Germany's DAX rose 0.4% to 12,577 while France's CAC 40 gained 1% to 5,660. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.4% at 7,530.

Wall Street appeared set to rise on the open, with futures for the Dow up 0.4% and those for S&P 500 up 0.2%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.2% to 21,756.55 while the Kospi lost 0.4% to 2,074.48 after rival North Korea launched two short range missiles into the sea.

The missiles fired early Thursday were the first weapons launches in more than two months and an apparent tactic to pressure Washington as North Korean and U.S. officials struggle to restart nuclear negotiations.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 0.3% to 28,594.30. The Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.5%, to 2,937.36. Australia's S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.6% to 6,818.00. India's Sensex edged 0.2% higher to 37,911.43.

Sentiment also got a boost from news that the U.S. and China plan to resume trade talks next week, this time in the commercial hub of Shanghai.

The White House said the talks will cover a range of issues, including intellectual property, forced technology transfers, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, the U.S.-China trade deficit and enforcement.

The tariff war between Washington and Beijing has disrupted trade and cast a pall over the economic outlook for Asia and beyond. Talks collapsed in early May, with President Donald Trump ordering a further increase in punitive import duties. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to work to resume negotiations in late June.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil added 79 cents to $56.67 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude oil, the international standard, picked up 92 cents to $64.10 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar was steady at 108.10 Japanese yen. The euro weakened to $1.1108 from $1.1142.

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