Stocks Rally on Fed Pledge, Earnings; Copper Jumps, Yen WeakensMarch 17 (Bloomberg) -- Stocks rose, driving the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to a 17-month high, and commodities rallied after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates at a record low and earnings in Europe beat analysts’ estimates. The yen and the dollar weakened.
The Stoxx 600 advanced 0.9 percent at 11:31 a.m. in London, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 1.6 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.3 percent. Copper and crude oil increased for a second day. The yen fell against all 16 most-traded counterparts and the dollar declined against 14.
The Fed yesterday signaled the U.S. recovery isn’t strong enough to stoke inflation or justify higher borrowing costs, repeating its intention to hold the benchmark rate for an “extended period,” while the Bank of Japan doubled a lending program aimed at stoking credit growth to $222 billion. In Europe, investor confidence was boosted as earnings from UniCredit SpA and Inditex SA exceeded predictions.
“Steps like these are helping grease the wheels of the recovery,” said Chris Hall, who helps manage about $3.3 billion at Argo Investments in Adelaide, Australia. “It’s clear the Fed is going to keep rates very accommodative to stimulate the growth recovery. Japan’s way is to try and make credit easier to get.”
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