European stocks near record high, NZ dollar rises

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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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