Global Stocks Gain on Hopes for Rate Cut

•European, Asian stocks higher

•Brent crude gains on Iran tensions

•U.S. futures trading up

Global stocks rose in early trade Friday as investors welcomed comments from a Federal Reserve official that seemed to strengthen the case for an interest-rate cut.

Food-and-beverage and oil-and-gas companies supported the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index, which rose 0.5% to reverse a two-day losing streak.

In Asia, most indexes were trading higher ahead of the closing bell. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose more than 1%, buoyed by consumer-goods companies, which have been performing well since data released earlier this week showed a sharp rise in Chinese retail sales.

U.S. stocks jumped on Thursday after Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said central banks must take swift action when faced with adverse economic conditions, which some investors interpreted as signaling a 0.5% rate cut in July. However, the bank later said Mr. Williams didn’t intend to signal any specific policy changes.

Trader Timothy Nick, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.


Richard Drew/Associated Press

Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev SA was among Europe’s biggest gainers, rising nearly 5% after the Budweiser maker agreed to sell its Australian subsidiary to Japan’s

Asahi Group Holdings

in an $11.3 billion deal and kept the door open to a potential listing of its Asian business.

Meanwhile, France’s

Publicis Groupe

dropped more than 8% after the advertising giant cut its outlook, prompting a downgrade from analysts at Liberum.

Future contracts for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were trading around 0.3% and 0.4% higher respectively.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude rose nearly 1.4% as tensions after President Trump said the U.S. Navy downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, shortly after Iranian forces seized a foreign tanker, further inflaming tensions in the region.

Later today, investors will be watching for University of Michigan consumer confidence data for July.

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