Rumors that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would hint at more monetary stimulus later in the day had global shares and the euro edging upward. U.S. stocks are set to open higher, ahead of the Fed chairman’s testimony.
Bernanke is scheduled to begin the first leg of a two-day testimony to U.S. lawmakers at 1400 GMT. They are expected to press him on whether the central bank is close to launching a third round of quantitative easing (or QE3), as well as what other options it might be considering.
Last month, the Fed decided to purchase an additional $267 billion in long-term bonds with proceeds from short-term debt. The measure, known as Operation Twist, has already put the U.S. central bank on a policy easing footing. Central banks in Brazil, China, Europe and the U.K. have announced looser monetary policies since then. And investors and analysts will be watching to see whether the weak payroll number for June and just released disappointing retails sales data will prompt Bernanke to take action.