Shares pick up, dollar steady after bruising selloff
By Marc Jones
LONDON (Reuters) - Stocks recouped some of their recent sharp losses and the dollar steadied on Friday, although both were limping towards a fourth straight week of declines driven by persistent doubts over central bank stimulus programs.
Talk that the U.S. Federal Reserve, which meets next week, could begin reducing its bond buying later in the year has fuelled a sell-off in global markets this week that has bruised stocks, bonds, emerging market assets and the dollar alike.
The U.S. currency remained sluggish as trading in New York started, but it looked to have gained a foothold against the yen at around 95 and at $1.3320 against the euro.
Wall Street was expected to open broadly flat. It bounced 1 percent on Thursday after better-than-expected U.S. retail sales brought some relief to markets, but the mood was expected to remain fragile running into next week's Fed meeting.
Markets have been spooked by the idea the U.S. central bank could start cutting back the support which has helped drive up asset prices over the last four years. But Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Global Markets, said with growth patchy, he didn't expect any changes before the end of the year.
"If you have easy monetary policy and improving economic conditions, which will also help companies to produce good earnings, ... then you have a lot of the building blocks in place (to drive stock market gains)," he added.
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