US stocks rally

New York, Jan 22 (IANS) US stocks traded higher as comments from the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi signalled further stimulus.

At midday on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 146.49 points, or 0.93 percent, to 15,913.23, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 gained 14.52 points, or 0.78 percent, to 1,873.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22. 39 points, or 0.50 percent, to 4,494.07.

“It will therefore be necessary to review and possibly reconsider our monetary policy stance at our next meeting in early March,” Draghi said, adding: “Work will be carried out to ensure that all the technical conditions are in place to make the full range of policy options available for implementation, if needed.”

Draghi’s comments suggested the central bank is willing to offer more stimulus at its next meeting in March, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Canadian stock rallies with energy boost

Canada’s energy-laden main stock market in Toronto waged a strong comeback as crude prices bounced up from recent tailspin sell-off.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index regained 192.75 points, or 1.63 percent, to close at 12,035.86 points on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Half of the TSX index’s eight main sectors turned positive.

The most influential drags on Thursday were the railways, with Canadian Pacific Railway Limited falling 0.88 percent to 149.84 Canadian dollars a share after it missed profit expectations on lower freight volumes.

The Canadian dollar gained more than one US cent on Thursday as oil prices recovered from their worst one-day plunge since September.

The Canadian dollar closed higher at $0.7003, compared with Tuesday’s closing rate of $0.6901.

Chinese yuan strengthens

The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, strengthened by 13 basis points to 6.5572 against the US dollar on Friday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.

In China’s spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day, Xinhua news agency reported.

The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

Tokyo shares open higher

Tokyo shares skyrocketed by opening the trading on Friday, with its benchmark Nikkei index jumped over 500 points higher briefly, as sentiment was boosted by the rebounding in oil prices and the retreat of the Japanese yen.

At 9.15 a.m. (local time), the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average surged 497.70 points, or 3.11 percent, from Thursday to 16,514.96, Xinhua news agency reported.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 38.11 points, or 2.93 percent, to 1,339.60.

Chinese shares open higher

Chinese stocks opened higher on Friday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up 1.06 percent, at 2,911.11 points.

The smaller Shenzhen index opened 1.2 percent higher at 10,095.42 points, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, gained 1.32 percent to open at 2,140.28 points.

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