December 12, 2017
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wall Street plows higher as anxiety falls to seven-month low

US stocks plowed further into positive territory for 2016 on Wednesday, helped for a second session by comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that eased anxiety about potential interest rate hikes.

The S&P 500 gained 0.44 percent to end at 2,063.95 points, bringing its gain for 2016 to about 1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.47 percent at 17,716.66 points and the Nasdaq Composite also added 0.47 percent to 4,869.29.

In Europe, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 1.4 percent. Germany's DAX gained 1.7 percent while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 1.6 percent.

The FTSEurofirst is still down 7 percent since the start of 2016, however, due to concerns about a China-led global economic slowdown.

Such a risk was one reason why Yellen said on Tuesday the US central bank should proceed only cautiously as it looks to raise interest rates.

Japanese stocks fell as the yen strengthened against the dollar after US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen called for caution on raising interest rates, with the stronger yen weighing on Japan's exporters.

Market players said appetite for riskier assets was further diminished by investor caution ahead of US jobs data scheduled to be released on Friday.

The Nikkei share average fell 1.3 percent to 16,878.96 for its lowest close in nearly two weeks.

The broader Topix fell 1.6 percent to end the day at 1,356.29 with each of its 33 subindexes in negative territory.

The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 1.6 percent to 12,249.67.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  

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