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US: Stocks lifted by financials as dollar pauses


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks opened higher on Thursday after big US banks cleared Federal Reserve stress tests and the dollar retreated from a 12-year high.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,754.13, up 118.74 points (0.67 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 11.84 (0.58 per cent) to 2,052.08, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 13.50 (0.28 per cent) at 4,863.44.

Citigroup jumped 3.3 and Morgan Stanley gained 4.0 per cent on higher dividend and shareholder repurchase announcements following the Fed's approval of their capital plans.

Bank of America rose 0.4 per cent after it announced a new share repurchase plan following a conditional passing grade from the US central bank that gives it until September to remedy weaknesses in its capital plan.

The euro rose to US$1.0612 from US$1.0548, pausing from a rally in the wake of a European Central Bank bond-buying program launched on Monday. The stronger dollar has weighed on equities recently as investors worried about its negative impact on multinational companies' profits.