European stocks near record high, NZ dollar rises


European stocks approached record highs on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve officials soothed investors’ inflation worries, though the New Zealand dollar rose as the country’s central bank hinted at a rate hike next year.

European stocks (.STOXX) were up 0.29%, close to the previous day’s record peak, while Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI) gained 0.2% and Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE) ticked up 0.17%.

U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open for the S&P 500, also within sight of recent record highs. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.29% after the index closed down 0.21%. World stocks (.MIWD00000PUS) gained 0.1%.

Richard Clarida, the Fed’s vice chair, said on Tuesday that the U.S. central bank would be able to curb an outbreak of inflation and engineer a “soft landing” without throwing the country’s economic recovery off track. read more

All the same, Clarida’s comments reflect a shifting tone at the Fed. A month ago, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said it was “not yet” time…

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