Stock Markets Buoyed Before Fed Update

World stock markets climbed Wednesday, with all eyes on the Federal Reserve’s US interest rate decision as corporate America pushed Wall Street to new record highs.

New York trading was off to a flying start as Boeing shares surged on the back of a strong profit forecast and AT&T jumped thanks to high subscriber numbers, adding to a plethora of well-received US corporate announcements.

“US stock markets appear to be riding a renewed wave of exuberance,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

The Dow set a new intraday high at 21,742.70 in morning trade, and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indices also hit all-time peaks.

The London benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.2 percent at the close, as traders digested a slight improvement to British quarterly growth and mining stocks had another good day as copper surged.

In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.6 percent.

Frankfurt’s DAX 30 won 0.3 percent, but Daimler shares dropped as a strong first-half performance by the company was shaded by scandals around diesel emissions and a suspected cartel.

The euro slipped back after reaching a near two-year high versus the dollar on Tuesday.

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to leave its key interest rate untouched when it reports on its policy meeting later Wednesday, having raised the rate twice this year.

Markets instead will be watching for any signals about another possible rise in the benchmark lending rate in 2017, and on when the Fed will begin winding down its multi-trillion-dollar investment holdings — something that could have a similar effect as a rate hike.

Earlier Wednesday, Asian stock markets also mostly rose, led by energy giants on rising commodity prices.

Improving demand and a weakening dollar has helped fuel a jump in copper prices to five-month peaks.

Oil, already lifted by hopes for output cuts, got a further fillip from the US Department of Energy reporting much lower-than-expected US stockpiles for last week, and ended the European day more than one percent up.

Both crude contracts had jumped three percent Tuesday with traders cheered by news that global crude producers, meeting in Russia Monday, called for stricter adherence to an agreement to reduce output.

New York – DOW: UP 0.5 percent at 21,720.18

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1634 from $1.1646 at 2050 GMT Tuesday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3059 from $1.3026

Dollar/yen: UP at 112.04 yen from 111.93 yen

Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 54 cents at $50.90 per barrel

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