FED WATCH: Yellen rehashed her key message in her comments to Congress on Thursday, speaking of challenge posed by the dual risks of inflation: prices rising too slowly and prices accelerating too quickly.
The Treasury Department will put $20 billion worth of 10-year Treasury notes up for sale at 1 p.m. Auctions of US government paper can affect prices and yields for the outstanding market.
Yellen expects the U.S. economy to continue to grow, stating the 3 per cent growth target of the Trump administration was "wonderful" but would be "quite challenging" to achieve.
Bond yields rose overnight. It's premature to reach the judgment that we're not on the path to 2 percent inflation over the next couple of years.
The head of the USA central bank said she was unsure if opioid abuse is a cause of the decline in the workforce or a symptom revealing more enduring economic issues.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.24 points, or 0.08 percent, to 21,550.38. Di Galoma pinpointed this remark as "distressing to the marketplace", as investor perceptions were tilted toward the view that rates would have to head much higher to settle at the neutral rate.
The euro vaulted to a 14-month high of US$1.14895 in Asian trade.
Markets in Asia followed on from yesterday's positive session, while the latest China trade data for June showed that both imports and exports improved on the positive numbers seen in May. This had offset higher levels of production noted in an International Energy Agency report. The U.S. dollar dropped versus almost every major global currency and hasn't recovered.
Gold retreated from earlier gains on Thursday as the USA dollar turned higher and global stocks gained on upbeat data, even as investors wagered that policy tightening in the United States would be glacial at best.
The Aussie dollar was up 0.7% at $0.7733, up from $0.7679 late Wednesday in NY. "Market attention turned to USA inflation data and its potential impact on Fed policy".
In individual stocks, shares of Korean automakers were in focus following headlines from Yonhap News that unionized Hyundai employees were taking a vote over a potential strike.
When inquiring minds want to know something, a TV ad campaign asserted in the 1980s, they turn to the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer. The Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.6 percent at 3,218.16 and the S&P ASX 200 advanced 1.1 percent to 5,736.80. Meanwhile, optical lens supplier Largan Precision reported a fall in quarterly net income, according to local media.
Target shares jumped 4.8 per cent, Wal-Mart Stores gained 1.5 per cent, Macy's 4.2 percent and Best Buy 2.6 per cent. The figure reflected a 2.5 percent rise on year, compared to the 2.8 percent expected, Reuters added.
Following the mixed performance seen on Tuesday, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Retail sales and industrial production figures for the U.S. are due too. USA data on Thursday were steady overall, with jobless claims dropping to a seasonally-adjusted 247,000 for the week ended July 8.