US stocks jump ahead of Fed meeting

New York, Dec 11 (IANS) The US stocks pared early losses and turned higher on Thursday, as investors were cautious ahead of a US Federal Reserve policy meeting next week, which is expected to raise interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade.

By noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 82.38 points, or 0.47 percent, at 17,574.68. The S&P 500 rose 7.98 points, or 0.39 percent, at 2,055.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 21.74 points, or 0.43 percent, at 5,044.60, Xinhua news agency reported.

On the economic front, in the week ending December 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 282,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 269,000, according to the US Labour Department on Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 270,750, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 269,250.

Energy sector rose nearly one percent around midday on Thursday to lead S&P 500 advancers, despite oil prices continued to hover near a seven-year low after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided last Friday to keep crude production pumping at current level in an already oversupplied market.

“We’ve seen equity markets correlate fairly closely to the price of crude of late. OPEC apparently swung and missed at their chance to support the price of a barrel when they took a powder last week at the cartel’s big shindig,” said Stephen Guilfoyle, managing director at Deep Value.

The West Texas Intermediate for January delivery dropped 0.43 percent in the early trading Thursday, and Brent crude for January delivery also lost 0.62 percent.

The US stocks closed lower in choppy trade on Wednesday, as weak oil prices continued to weigh on market.

US dollar rises on rate-hike expectation

The US dollar hiked against most major currencies on Thursday as investors widely expected that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates by year-end.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers,was up 0.62 percent at 97.948 in late trading, Xinhua news agency reported.

Most investors held that the US central bank would announce decisions to lift interest rates in its December meeting for the first time in almost a decade next week.

On the US economic front, in the week ending December 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjust initial jobless claims was 282,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 269,000, according to the Labour Department on Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 270,750, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 269,250.

In late New York trading, the euro decreased to $1.0936 from $1.1018 in the previous session, and the British pound fell to $1.5159 from $1.5178 in the previous session. The Australian dollar climbed to $0.7289 from $0.7234.

The US dollar bought 121.62 Japanese yen, higher than 121.34 yen of the previous session.

The US dollar climbed to 0.9891 Swiss franc from 0.9838 Swiss franc, and it went up to 1.3618 Canadian dollars from 1.3577 Canadian dollars.

 

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