Global stocks move higher after signs of Fed rate hike

Pedestrians walk past a share price board of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Nov. 19, 2015.

KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

SEOUL, South Korea - Global stock markets moved higher Thursday as jitters from the attacks in Paris dissipated and investors cheered growing signs of a possible Federal Reserve interest rate hike next month.

Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 0.9 percent to 6,335.07 and France's CAC 40 rose 0.9 percent to 4,949.32. Germany's DAX gained 1.3 percent to 11,107.07.

Futures showed that Wall Street was likely to extend its gains: Dow futures gained 0.2 percent, and S&P futures rose 0.4 percent.

Asian markets finished higher. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1.1 percent to 19,859.81 and South Korea's Kospi gained 1.3 percent to 1,988.91. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 1.4 percent to 22,500.22, while Australia's S&P/ASX200 jumped 2.1 percent to 5,242.60. Stocks in mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore were also higher.

The minutes from the Fed's October meeting revealed that Fed officials believed the U.S. job market would improve further and that inflation would begin to move toward their 2 percent annual target by the time the group meets next month. They also took note of the U.S. economy's resilience through a summer of financial market turbulence and felt that global threats had "diminished." The Fed has kept its benchmark for short-term rates near zero since late 2008. In a daily note, Mizuho Bank said investors were relieved because the latest Fed minutes dispelled uncertainty over a rate hike next month.

Worries about the Fed's first rate hike may cause more volatility in stock markets in the near term, but the hikes will be gradual and conditioned on the U.S. economy's improvement, said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital. "While U.S. shares are expensive on some measures, shares outside the U.S. are cheap, indicating that there are still plenty of opportunities for investors," he said.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 11 cents to $40.86 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 8 cents to close at $40.75 a barrel on Wednesday after briefly dipping below $40 a barrel for the first time since August. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 30 cents to $44.44 a barrel in London.

The dollar slipped to 123.23 yen from Wednesday's 123.50 yen. The euro weakened to $1.0673 from $1.0679. The dollar's weakness despite stronger signs of an impending U.S. rate hike indicates that investors are already expecting the rate increase next month, Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.