September 9, 2019 / 3:51 PM / 10 days ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stimulus hopes lift stocks, pound hits 6-week high

* Stocks edge up on stimulus hopes

* Pound choppy on Brexit uncertainty

* Crude climbs on new output cut commitment (Updates with open of U.S. markets, changes dateline; previous LONDON)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) - A gauge of global stocks advanced on Monday as investors banked on the likelihood of stimulus measures from the world’s central banks to reverse slowing growth, while the pound hit a six-week high in choppy trading on wavering hopes for Britain’s ability to leave the European Union with a deal.

After two straight weeks of gains, stocks on Wall Street were modestly higher, buoyed by gains in energy and financial shares. Market participants saw last week’s break by major U.S. indexes out of their August range as a positive sign.

Earlier, data showed Japan’s economy grew at a slower pace than initially estimated in the second quarter as the U.S.-China trade war prompted a downward revision of business spending, intensifying calls for the central bank to deepen stimulus this month.

Still, barring a major announcement on trade developments between the United States and China, stock movements were likely to be muted ahead of the next policy announcement by the Federal Reserve on Sept. 18.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank would continue to “act as appropriate” to sustain U.S. economic expansion.

“Barring any surprise news, this should be a quiet week in the equity market as most investors are on hold until next week for the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting,” said Shawn Gibson, chief investment officer of asset management firm Liquid Strategies in Atlanta.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 72.29 points, or 0.27%, to 26,869.75, the S&P 500 gained 3.58 points, or 0.12%, to 2,982.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 7.05 points, or 0.09%, to 8,110.13.

European shares advanced, holding at the highest level in over a month, after data showed a surprise rise in German exports and on firmer expectations of new stimulus by the European Central Bank later this week.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.29% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.10%.

Sterling hit a six-week high of $1.2382 as investors saw the likelihood of a “no-deal” Brexit lessening and data that indicated Britain’s economy picked up more than anticipated in July.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will try for a second time on Monday to call a snap parliamentary election, but is set to be thwarted once more by opposition lawmakers who want to ensure he cannot take Britain out of the European Union without a divorce agreement in place.

Sterling’s gains were briefly pared sharply as John Bercow, speaker in Britain’s House of Commons, announced he would stand down from the role.

Sterling was last trading at $1.2359, up 0.64% on the day.

The dollar index fell 0.18%, with the euro up 0.31% to $1.1061.

Oil prices jumped after the new Saudi energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, confirmed expectations that there would be no radical change in his country’s oil policy.

U.S. crude rose 2.71% to $58.05 per barrel and Brent was last at $62.79, up 2.03% on the day.

Additional reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler

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