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US: Stocks open higher as oil prices continue rise

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street opened higher on Wednesday as crude oil prices rose for the fourth day in a row, with Brent crude on track to post its best 4-day run in more than a month.

Chevron rose 2.3 per cent and Exxon rose 1.6 per cent, providing the biggest boosts to the S&P 500.

The S&P energy index gained 1.9 per cent, leading the advancers among the 10 major S&P sectors. Nine of the 10 sectors were up.

Brent crude and US light crude were up about 2 per cent after data showed a fall in US inventories after two years of surplus.

Global stocks were also boosted on Wednesday by mining and energy shares as investors bought into the prospect of continued support from the world's central banks.

Expectations that the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates this year are fading, with concerns mounting about slowing global growth and its effect on corporate results.

Investors will focus on quarterly earnings reports over the next few weeks, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

PepsiCo's better-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday suggested companies may not fare as badly as expected, he said.

S&P 500 companies are expected to report a 4.2 per cent fall in third-quarter profit, the biggest decline in six years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

At 9:40 am ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 133.02 points, or 0.79 per cent, at 16,923.21. The S&P 500 was up 13.68 points, or 0.69 per cent, at 1,993.6 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 23.04 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 4,771.40.

REUTERS