World Bulletin / News Desk
Wall Street closed higher Wednesday as the Federal Reserve increased interest rates and pointed to strengthening economic conditions.
The Dow added 112 points to finish at 20,950 and the S&P rose 19 points to end the day at 2,385.
The Nasdaq increased 43 points to close at 5,900.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the economy is getting closer to the central bank's objectives. ”The simple message is that the economy is doing well,” she said.
Markets had already priced in the Fed's rate hike in recent weeks in anticipation of the rate hike.
After the interest rate increase was announced, the dollar lost some recent gains against major currencies, while oil prices rose around 2 percent to rally the stock market.
At the final bell, American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was trading at $48.83 -- up 2.4 percent. International benchmark Brent crude was at $51.87 -- a 1.9 percent gain.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.