September 16, 2015 / 12:45 AM / in 2 years

Higher oil lifts stocks before Fed rate decision

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening of the markets in New York September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global stock prices rose for a second day on Wednesday with the S&P 500 hitting its highest in almost a month as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve decision on whether raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade.

Brent crude prices jumped 4 percent on a drop in U.S. crude inventories in the latest week, lifting energy shares and the broader equity market.

“Energy was what gave it the initial spark and the fact the energy rally kept rolling gave people reassurance they could step into other sectors as well,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

The dollar fell on a surprise dip in domestic inflation in August, which reduced expectations of a U.S. central bank rate increase on Thursday.

Short-term U.S. bond yields held below a near 4-1/2 year high and gold prices rose on the news the U.S. Consumer Price Index fell 0.1 percent in August.

A Reuters poll released on Wednesday suggested a rate hike remains a close call, although a little more than half the 80 economists surveyed reckoned the Fed will refrain from raising rates.

U.S. money market rates, however, implied traders see a little more than a 1 in 4 chance of a rate increase on Thursday.

Subdued domestic inflation is seen as a critical factor among some economists, together with the recent global market turbulence, that could cause the Fed to stick to its near-zero interest rate policy at its two-day meeting that ends Thursday.

Steady jobs growth and falling unemployment, on the other hand, might be enough to sway U.S. policymakers to raise rates.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed up 140.1 points, or 0.84 percent, to 16,739.95, the S&P 500 .SPX ended up 17.22 points, or 0.87 percent, to 1,995.31 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC finished up 28.72 points, or 0.59 percent, to 4,889.24.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 rose 1.6 percent at 1,427.55, with buying spurred by the world’s No. 1 beer maker’s Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR) proposal to acquire rival SABMiller SAB.L.

Tokyo’s Nikkei index .N225 ended up 0.8 percent.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, rose 4.95 points or 1.26 percent, to 398.65.

U.S. two-year Treasuries’ yield was 0.807 percent, a tad below an earlier peak of 0.819 percent, which was highest since April 2011.

In the currency market, the dollar index .DXY, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, fell 0.3 percent to 95.333.

Brent crude settled up $2.00, or 4.19 percent, at $49.75 a barrel. U.S. crude settled up $2.56, or 5.74 percent, at $47.51 per barrel.

Spot gold prices rose $14.15 or 1.28 percent, to $1,119.15 an ounce.

Reporting by Sinead Carew, Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Sam Forgione in New York; Marc Jones in London; editing by Andrew Roche and Nick Zieminski

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