Stocks on world markets edged higher on Wednesday, recovering from a recent sell-off on rapidly escalating China-U.S. trade tensions, while Treasury yields rose after the Federal Reserve chairman said the U.S. central bank should continue with a gradual pace of interest rate increases.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the pace should stay the same given that the labour market does not seem to be overly tight.
The S&P 500 edged higher along with the Nasdaq, which hit a record high as Facebook Inc
"There haven`t been new trade tariffs announced. Investors can focus a little more on the fundamentals," said Sameer Samana, global equity and technical strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down slightly, a day after it erased its year-to-date gains amid President Donald Trump`s latest tariff threats against Chinese goods.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.dji> fell 38.33 points, or 0.16 percent, to 24,661.88, the S&P 500 <.spx> gained 5.54 points, or 0.20 percent, to 2,768.13 and the Nasdaq Composite <.ixic> added 61.04 points, or 0.79 percent, to 7,786.62.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.fteu3> rose 0.31 percent and MSCI`s gauge of stocks across the globe <.miwd00000pus> gained 0.34 percent.
MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.miapj0000pus> closed 0.7 percent higher. Shares in Hong Kong, Seoul and mainland Chinese indexes <.hsi><.ks11>
Helping those shares was a state radio report that China will use targeted cuts in banks` reserve requirement ratios and other monetary policy tools to boost credit for small firms.
Powell`s comments boosted yields in the U.S. Treasury market.
Benchmark 10-year notes
The euro held slim losses against the dollar as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the factors holding back local wages are subsiding and the ECB is confident inflation in the euro zone would move towards its 2-percent goal.
The dollar index <.dxy> fell 0.03 percent, with the euro
In commodities markets, copper prices eased again after an inventory rise highlighted healthy supplies, extending declines from Tuesday tied to trade war worries.
Oil prices were mixed, with U.S. crude futures supported by a drop in domestic inventories.