Spanish stock market rises

Madrid, March 18 :The Spanish stock market index Ibex-35 rose 0.18 percent to close at 8,978.80 points, up from the 8,962.80 points of the previous session.


On Thursday’s session, ArcelorMittal shares led rises climbing 9.52 percent, followed by OHL, Acerinox, Repsol, Merlin and Tecnicas Reunidas that rose 4.40 percent, 3.81 percent, 2.49 percent, 2.18 percent and 1.72 percent, respectively, Xinhua news agency reported.

On the other hand, Banco Popular shares led falls losing 3.28 percent, followed by Bankia, Bankinter, Grifols, Banco Sabadell and Indra A that lost 2.88 percent, 1.81 percent, 1.60 percent, 1. 23 percent and 0.79 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Spain’s risk premium closed at 120.2 points, slightly above of Wednesday’s closing time, and Spain’s 10-year bond interest rate closed at 1.4 percent.

US stocks extend gains after Fed statement

New York, March 18 :US stocks ticked up as investors assessed the US Federal Reserve’s policy announcement as well as oil recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 155.73 points, or 0.90 percent, to 17,481.49 on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 gained 13.37 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,040.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 11.01 points, or 0.23 percent, to 4,774.98.

The Fed kept its benchmark short-term interest rates unchanged on Wednesday as expected, noting that “global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks” to the US economy.

“I am wary and have not yet concluded that we have seen a significant uptick that will be lasting,” said Fed chair Janet Yellen, at a press conference following the two-day policy meeting.

US dollar declines after Fed statement

New York, March 18 : The US dollar decreased against other major currencies as investors were digesting the Federal Reserve policy statement.

In late New York trading on Thursday, the euro rose to $1.1318 from $1.1183 of the previous session, and the British pound climbed to $1.4486 from $1.4230. The Australian dollar went up to $0.7651 from $0.7526.

The dollar bought 111.43 Japanese yen, lower than 112.91 yen of the previous session.

The dollar decreased to 0.9672 Swiss francs from 0.9812 Swiss francs, and it inched down to 1.2996 Canadian dollars from 1.3192 Canadian dollars.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was down 1.17 percent at 94.764 in late trading on Thursday.

In a statement released after the Fed’s two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, Fed officials maintained the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25 to 0.5 percent, noting that “global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks” to the U.S. economy.

“In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate,” the central bank “will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation,” according to the statement.

On the economic front, in the week ending March 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 265,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the US Labor Department announced on Thursday.

Chinese shares open higher

Beijing, March 18 Chinese stocks opened higher on Friday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up 0.37 percent, at 2,915.52 points.

The smaller Shenzhen index opened 0.5 percent higher at 9,841.04 points, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, rose 0.71 percent to open at 2,102.19 points.

Tokyo shares open lower

Tokyo, March 18 : Tokyo shares opened the trading on Friday lower on a firmer yen that dragged down export-related issues.

At 9.15 a.m. (local time), the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 145.25 points, or 0.86 percent, from Thursday to 16,791.13, Xinhua news agency reported.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 8.57 points, or 0.63 percent, at 1, 350.40.

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