Stocks rise as interest rate fears wane; dollar slips

Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:24pm EDT
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By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An index of global stocks on Wednesday climbed to near its highest point of the year while the dollar weakened as easing concerns about potential interest rate increases led investors into riskier assets.

Oil prices edged higher, paring stronger initial gains as U.S. crude inventories built up.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday the U.S. central bank should proceed cautiously as it looks to raise interest rates, pushing back on a handful of her colleagues who had suggested another move may be just around the corner.

Yellen's comments were echoed on Wednesday by Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, who said there was a high hurdle to raising rates in April, given low inflation.

"It’s been a pretty nice couple of days here thanks to the Fed after they caused some angst earlier in the week," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 83.55 points, or 0.47 percent, to 17,716.66, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 8.94 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,063.95 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 22.67 points, or 0.47 percent, to 4,869.29.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 advanced 1.3 percent.

MSCI's index of world shares .MIWD00000PUS gained 1.1 percent. The index pulled back from stronger earlier-session gains that had put it in positive territory for 2016.   Continued...

People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 25, 2015.   REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett