Wall Street heads higher as tech investors lick wounds

By Huw Jones

LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Wall Street was poised to open higher on Thursday, propelling European stocks back to gains as big tech investors licked their wounds after the Nasdaq plunged into correction territory. .

* However, fears that the Federal Reserve will be more aggressive in raising interest rates this year than the market expects continued to limit investor confidence.

* Crude oil prices retreated from their 2014 highs and the dollar weakened as this week’s rise in US Treasury yields slowed.

* Nasdaq futures were up 0.7%, suggesting a temporary pause in Wednesday’s selloff in tech stocks as yields rose and the Fed tightened.

* The tech-heavy Nasdaq has lost more than 10% since its all-time high on Nov. 19. Futures for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones stocks also improved.

* In Europe, the STOXX 600 index advanced 0.2% to 481 points, below its all-time high of 495.46 points reached in the first week of trading this year.

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* MSCI’s measure of global shares was up 0.2% at 729 points, though still down 3.8% year-to-date.

* “There’s a ton of caution now,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. “The key factor that markets are thinking about is Fed tightening.”

* Asian stocks snapped a five-day losing streak and rose on Thursday as China underscored its divergent monetary and economic outlook by cutting benchmark mortgage rates.

* China’s benchmark CSI300 index rose 0.9%, led by property developers, amid hopes the government’s moves will ease a funding crunch in the beleaguered sector, even as another developer warned of a default.

* The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury bonds was trading at 1.836%, up from 1.827% the day before, and the policy-sensitive two-year yield was at 1.0413% from 1.025%.