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10-Jan2019

US markets end higher on easing fears around US-China trade

Magnifying their gains for fourth straight day, the US markets ended higher on Wednesday on the back of optimism about a potential trade deal between the US and China after talks between US and Chinese officials were extended to a third day. Officials have not made public comments about the outcome of the talks, although traders remain hopeful the US and China will reach a long-term trade agreement before a March 01 deadline. Markets also remained positive after the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting confirmed Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's recent remarks suggesting the central bank will take a patient approach to further interest rate increases. The minutes of the Fed's December meeting said participants saw the appropriate extent and timing of future rate hikes as less clear than earlier.

The Fed decided to raise rates by a quarter point at the meeting, but the minutes suggest volatility in financial markets and increased concerns about global economic growth have clouded the outlook for rates. The minutes said 'against this backdrop, many participants expressed the view that, especially in an environment of muted inflation pressures, the Committee could afford to be patient about further policy firming.'

Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 91.67 points or 0.39 percent to 23879.12, Nasdaq gained 60.08 points or 0.87 percent to 6957.08 and S&P 500 was up by 10.55 points or 0.41 percent to 2584.96.


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