Following the release of minutes of the last policy meeting of the Federal Reserve, US stocks Wednesday posted their biggest one-day gain in 2014. Earlier Wednesday, the Brent crude oil benchmark that is used for pricing of two-thirds of world crude trade, dipped to a 27-month low following the IMF's cut in its forecast for world growth on Tuesday.
The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of September 16-17 showed that members were concerned that weak growth in Europe, Japan and China could cut US exports while the stronger dollar by cutting the cost of imported goods and services, would keep commodities prices down and make it easier to meet the Fed’s 2% inflation target.
At the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, traders took the minutes as a signal that interest rates will not rise anytime soon.
Following a selloff on Tuesday on worries about weak German data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday rose 274.83 points, or 1.6%, to 16994.22, its largest point and percentage gain since December, according to The Wall Street Journal. The S&P 500 rose 33.79 points, or 1.7%, to 1968.89, its strongest gain in nearly 12 months. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 83.39 points, or 1.9%, to 4468.59.
In Europe Wednesday, the Stoxx Europe 600 slid 0.9%, while Germany’s DAX index dropped 1%.
Brent crude for November settlement fell to $90.76 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange early afternoon Wednesday in London, which was a 27-month low. This morning it's trading at $91.53.
The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), for November settlement is at $87.56 Thursday morning.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange Wednesday WTI fell $1.54, or 1.7%, to settle at $87.31 a barrel, leaving oil 21% below its 2013 peak.
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