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The Latest: Stocks edge higher ahead of Powell speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (all times local):

7:20 a.m.

Global stock markets are up ahead of a closely watched speech by the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman.

Market benchmarks in London, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Tokyo are all higher on Friday. Futures for the Dow and the S&P 500 are up 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.

Investors are looking to Jerome Powell's speech Friday for signs of direction on interest rates after two regional Fed presidents said they see no need for a change.

Investors expect a cut in September, the Fed's second in three months, to shore up U.S. economic growth amid a tariff war with Beijing and weakening global growth.

"Markets seem very clearly positioned for some very dovish guidance from Mr. Powell," Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a report. "It is a dangerous assumption to make."

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12:05 a.m.

Against the backdrop of a vulnerable economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell takes center stage Friday with the financial world seeking clarity on whether last month's first Fed rate cut in a decade likely marked the start of a period of easier credit.

The confusion has only heightened in the days leading to the annual gathering of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at which Powell will give the keynote address.

Investors are looking for a clearer signal from Powell that he and other members of the Fed's interest rate committee support further rate cuts to counter a slowing global economy and calm turbulent markets.

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