August 21, 2019 / 3:24 PM / 25 days ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks lead risk rally amid stimulus, recession talk

* Eyes on Fed minutes, Jackson Hole meeting for rate outlook

* Renault, Fiat tie-up hopes boost shares (Updates with U.S. markets, changes comments, byline, dateline from previous LONDON)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - A global equities gauge rose on Wednesday for a third day in four as bets on more economic stimulus overcame, for now, worries over the rising prospect of a global recession.

Strong earnings in the United States and the report of talks on a mega merger in European autos triggered gains in stocks, and the improved risk sentiment drove safe-haven yields higher while the yen and gold edged lower.

Traders expect that the Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole symposium and a Group of Seven summit this weekend will shed light on the next steps policymakers will take to support economic growth.

Much depends on what the Fed does with U.S. interest rates, making markets hyper-sensitive to the minutes of its latest meeting, due later on Wednesday. That meeting ended with what traders dubbed a "hawkish rate cut," missing expectations for an even more supportive Fed.

"Today's release of the FOMC minutes could show how the risks related to global trade could warrant further rate cuts," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, pointing to the importance of Fed Chairman Jay Powell's speech in Jackson Hole expected Friday.

Auto shares led European stocks higher after Italian media suggested the merger talks between Fiat Chrysler and Renault have continued despite reports to the contrary.

Across the Atlantic, earnings from Target and Lowe's boosted consumer-centered stocks and overall market sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 255.81 points, or 0.99%, to 26,218.25, the S&P 500 gained 24.18 points, or 0.83%, to 2,924.69 and the Nasdaq Composite added 80.19 points, or 1.01%, to 8,028.75.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.13% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.69%.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.29%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.11% lower, while Japan's Nikkei lost 0.28%.

YIELDS RISE, YEN FALLS

Futures markets have fully priced a 25-basis-point cut in next month's Fed meeting. On Wednesday, U.S. Treasury yields rose as rising stock prices reflected improving risk sentiment, with traders keeping an eye out for the Fed minutes.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 3/32 in price to yield 1.569%, from 1.559% late on Tuesday.

Germany sold 30-year bonds with a negative yield for the first time at an auction on Wednesday, a milestone for a fixed-income market where the entire curve now yields less than zero. The very weak demand seen at the auction was expected.

Crude oil futures rose after industry data showed a larger than expected drop in U.S. crude inventories, but worries about a possible global recession capped gains.

U.S. crude rose 0.94% to $56.66 per barrel and Brent was last at $61.01, up 1.63% on the day.

In currencies, the dollar rose against the Swiss and Japanese safe-haven currencies and the dollar index was flat, with the euro down 0.04% to $1.1095. Sterling was last trading at $1.213, down 0.31% on the day.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.22% versus the greenback at 106.47 per dollar.

Spot gold dropped 0.3% to $1,502.50 an ounce.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Karen Brettell and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in NEW YORK and Tom Arnold and Noah Browning in LONDON Editing by Nick Zieminski

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