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Global stocks keep rising on hopes UK will 'remain'

by June 21, 2016 General

AP and AFP
June 22, 2016, 12:18 am TWN

Global stocks rose again Tuesday on optimism Britain will vote to stay in the European Union, as investors awaited an economic report by the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Opinion polls and betting markets indicate that Britons are more likely to vote to remain in the European Union in a referendum Thursday. Many believe a departure, known informally as Brexit, would hurt the British and European economies and possibly encourage other countries to leave. Uncertainty about the outcome has weighed on global markets. The vote is expected to be close.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is to give a semiannual report on the U.S. economy to the Senate. The Fed suggested in a statement after its latest policy meeting that it needs a clearer economic picture before resuming interest rate hikes it began in December. Some economists think a July increase is possible if the job market rebounds from a dismal May and financial markets remain calm after Britain’s EU vote.

“Investors will likely continue to focus on the calculus surrounding the UK’s EU referendum,” Citigroup analysts said in a report. “There will also be interest in tonight’s congressional testimony by Fed Chair Yellen.”

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent to 16,169.11 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.7 percent to 20,652.86. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 5,374.40 and Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.1 percent to 1,982.70. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent to 2,878.56 and India’s Sensex shed 0.4 percent to 26,799.43. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia also gained, while New Zealand and Singapore retreated.