NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stock indexes edged higher on Thursday following the release of minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting, while the dollar extended declines.
The minutes from the Sept. 16-17 meeting showed the Fed policymaking committee thought the economy was close to warranting an interest rate hike in September but decided it was better to wait for evidence that a global economic slowdown was not knocking the United States off course.
The Dow and S&P 500 added to gains, putting the S&P 500 above 2,000 for the first time in three weeks.
U.S. Treasuries were flat after the report, while a dollar index .DXY was down 0.3 percent. Fading chances of a near-term rate hike have taken a toll on the dollar.
“Stocks are reacting positively, and the dollar’s reacting negatively to the slightly more dovish comments about near-term prospects for inflation,” said Patrick Maldari, senior fixed income investment specialist at Aberdeen Asset Management in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 94.53 points, or 0.56 percent, to 17,006.82, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 10.87 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,006.7 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 2.83 points, or 0.06 percent, to 4,793.99.
MSCI’s all-country world equity index .MIWD000000PUS was up 0.4 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 ended up 0.3 percent.
In Europe’s growth engine, Germany, exports plunged 5.2 percent in August for their biggest monthly decline since the height of the global financial crisis.
Doubts about developed world growth also came from Japan, where data showed machinery orders fell in August by 5.7 percent, bucking expectations of a rise and undermining hopes of an inflation pick-up.
Crude oil prices stayed higher following the Fed minutes. U.S. crude CLc1 rose $1.62 to settle at $49.43.
Additional reporting by Sujato Rao in London, Shinichi Saoshiro in Tokyo, Sudip Kar-Gupta and Marius Zaharia in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski