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Global stocks up on upbeat US housing survey

BEIJING/HONG KONG--Global stock markets rose Tuesday on improved U.S. housing sentiment and news of diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in Ukraine.

In morning trading, France's CAC-40 rose 0.5 percent to 4,252.32 and Germany's DAX gained 1 percent to 9,334.55. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent to 6,773.25. Futures pointed to gains on Wall Street.

“Markets started the week on a firm note as investors took positively the talks between Russia and Ukraine over the weekend even though no major breakthrough was reached,” said Credit Agricole CIB in a report.

A survey showed sentiment among homebuilders improved in August for a third month. Mizuho Bank said that suggests housing is “experiencing a broad-based revival,” which might bring forward plans by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has cited housing as a concern, to raise interest rates.

The U.S. government was due to announce monthly inflation Wednesday and the Fed was due to release minutes on Wednesday from its July policy meeting. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks Friday at an annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and is expected to affirm her position that Fed should keep monetary policy loose to respond to a slack labor market.

Asian shares rose Tuesday and the focus turned to a keynote speech this week by the U.S. Federal Reserve chief.

Tokyo gained 0.83 percent, or 127.19 points, to 15,449.79 and Seoul added 0.88 percent, or 18.01 points, to 2,071.14.

Sydney rose 0.66 percent, or 36.7 points, to 5,623.8.

Hong Kong climbed 0.67 percent, or 167.49 points, to 25,122.95 and Shanghai ended up 0.26 percent, or 5.86 points, at 2,245.33.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 1.06 percent at 16,838.74 while the broad-based S&P 500 added 0.85 percent to 1,971.74.

The Dow had led a sell-off Friday as news that Ukrainian artillery had destroyed part of a Russian military column spooked investors.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 0.97 percent to 4,508.31 — its highest level since March 31, 2000, when the market was on the cusp of a nearly 4,000-point crash as the tech bubble burst.

The greenback is expected to bounce in volatile forex trading this week, ahead of a speech on Friday by U.S. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen at the central bank's annual economic policy symposium. Investors will be looking for any hint of a change to the Fed's interest rate plans.

Later Tuesday, investors were looking to U.S. inflation data for July to get a snapshot of the state of the world's number one economy.

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