FILE - In this Thursday, Aug 25, 2016, file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen arrives for a reception on the opening night of the annual conference of the world's central bankers, north of Jackson Hole, Wyo. Against a backdrop of strengthening growth but chronically low inflation, Yellen and other central bankers are taking measure of the global economy at their annual conference in the shadow of Wyoming’s Grand Teton Mountains. Yellen and Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, will each address the conference on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen took aim at Donald Trump's plans to reform banking regulations. Brennan Linsley, AP

Stocks rise but dollar mixed ahead of bankers' Jackson Hole speeches



The dollar gained against the yen but inched down against the euro on Friday, as traders cleared the decks for speeches by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen and her euro zone counterpart Mario Draghi at a central bank meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

A debate in the US Congress over raising the government's debt ceiling has begun to loom over the US currency, with lawmakers expected to have just two weeks to agree a deal when they return in September.

But with trade thinned by the last weeks of the European holiday season, and a bank holiday weekend in the world's main currency trading hub London, expectations of more signs from Ms Yellen on plans to reduce the Fed's balance sheet had steadied the greenback overnight.

It was on course to end the week 0.4 per cent stronger against the yen, having slipped to as low as 108.60 yen on tensions stemming from the Korean Peninsula.

"Given the vibes that we have been getting from the Fed I think it is becoming clear that they are intent on pursuing this balance sheet reduction next month," said Alvin Tan, a strategist with Societe Generale in London.

"The market is effectively expecting an announcement in September so (if Yellen promises one) it will not be a surprise. (But) the kneejerk could help push US bond yields higher and obviously help the dollar."

Expectations that Mr Draghi and the European Central Bank will push forward with their own tightening of policy this year, however, have driven the single currency close to 14 per cent higher this year and many banks predict more is to come.

By mid morning, the euro had gained around 0.17 per cent to $1.1784 . The dollar was up 0.1 per cent on the day at 109.69 yen.

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Read more:

Dollar consolidation continues nudged by improving US data

Dollar fall halts on improved US data but sentiment is still bearish

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Meanwhile world stocks climbed toward their best week in six on Friday, as a near three-year high in emerging market shares and a roaring rally in metals bolstered the year's global bull run.

European shares overcame an early wobble after reassuring business confidence data from Germany and as the week's 3 and 7 per cent rises in metals copper and nickel gave the region's miners a 4 per cent weekly gain.

London's FTSE, which has a heavyweight mining contingent, led the way with a 0.4 per cent rise on the day and 1.5 per cent for the week. It was also being boosted by the fourth straight weekly drop in the Brexit-bruised pound, which helps internationally-earned profits.

Fast charging emerging markets helped Asia secure a 1.6 per cent weekly rise, while Wall Street looked set to open higher despite a rumbling row for Donald Trump as the United States approaches its self-imposed government debt limit.

Price data from Japan highlighted what could be a major topic of discussion at the central bankers' gathering: why are inflationary pressures remaining so stubbornly weak despite a seemingly synchronised global economic recovery?

Japan's core consumer prices inched up for a seventh straight month in July from a year earlier, but the gain was a tepid 0.5 per cent and driven largely by higher fuel bills. The yen showed little reaction.

The ECB's job has been made harder by a stronger euro and traders are still wary of any comment on the currency's strength from Draghi.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was also up 0.1 per cent at 93.382 after nudging up 0.15 per cent overnight on the back of a rise in U.S. Treasury yields.

"If anything, Draghi may deliver a rather dovish message that still leaves the door open to tapering at the end of the year while carefully managing the euro lower," said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam.

Mountain Boy

Director: Zainab Shaheen

Starring: Naser Al Messabi

Rating: 3/5

If you go:
The flights: Etihad, Emirates, British Airways and Virgin all fly from the UAE to London from Dh2,700 return, including taxes
The tours: The Tour for Muggles usually runs several times a day, lasts about two-and-a-half hours and costs £14 (Dh67)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is on now at the Palace Theatre. Tickets need booking significantly in advance
Entrance to the Harry Potter exhibition at the House of MinaLima is free
The hotel: The grand, 1909-built Strand Palace Hotel is in a handy location near the Theatre District and several of the key Harry Potter filming and inspiration sites. The family rooms are spacious, with sofa beds that can accommodate children, and wooden shutters that keep out the light at night. Rooms cost from £170 (Dh808).

About My Father

Director: Laura Terruso

Stars: Robert De Niro, Sebastian Maniscalco, Kim Cattrall

Rating: 2/5

Green ambitions
  • Trees: 1,500 to be planted, replacing 300 felled ones, with veteran oaks protected
  • Lake: Brown's centrepiece to be cleaned of silt that makes it as shallow as 2.5cm
  • Biodiversity: Bat cave to be added and habitats designed for kingfishers and little grebes
  • Flood risk: Longer grass, deeper lake, restored ponds and absorbent paths all meant to siphon off water 
Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

AT A GLANCE

Windfall
An “energy profits levy” to raise about £5 billion in a year. The temporary one-off tax will hit oil and gas firms by 25 per cent on extraordinary profits. An 80 per cent investment allowance should calm Conservative nerves that the move will dent North Sea firms’ investment to save them 91p for every £1 they spend.
A universal grant
Energy bills discount, which was effectively a £200 loan, has doubled to a £400 discount on bills for all households from October that will not need to be paid back.
Targeted measures
More than eight million of the lowest income households will receive a £650 one-off payment. It will apply to households on Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Pension Credit and legacy benefits.
Separate one-off payments of £300 will go to pensioners and £150 for those receiving disability benefits.

Recipe

Garlicky shrimp in olive oil
Gambas Al Ajillo

Preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

180ml extra virgin olive oil; 4 to 5 large cloves of garlic, minced or pureed (or 3 to 4 garlic scapes, roughly chopped); 1 or 2 small hot red chillies, dried (or ¼ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes); 400g raw prawns, deveined, heads removed and tails left intact; a generous splash of sweet chilli vinegar; sea salt flakes for seasoning; a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a terracotta dish or frying pan. Once the oil is sizzling hot, add the garlic and chilli, stirring continuously for about 10 seconds until golden and aromatic.

Add a splash of sweet chilli vinegar and as it vigorously simmers, releasing perfumed aromas, add the prawns and cook, stirring a few times.

Once the prawns turn pink, after 1 or 2 minutes of cooking, remove from the heat and season with sea salt flakes.

Once the prawns are cool enough to eat, scatter with parsley and serve with small forks or toothpicks as the perfect sharing starter. Finish off with crusty bread to soak up all that flavour-infused olive oil.

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