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US: Stocks rise as market awaits Fed announcement

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks on Wednesday opened higher following a weak US inflation report as the market awaited a policy announcement by the Federal Reserve.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,113.67, up 44.80 points (0.26 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 6.64 (0.34 per cent) to 1,979.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 4.97 (0.11 per cent) to 4,552.80.

US consumer prices fell 0.3 per cent in November, much more than forecast, due to a 3.8 per cent fall in energy prices.

The slowdown in inflation eases pressure on the Fed to raise interest rates from the zero-level where they have sat for six years.

The Fed completes a two-day policy meeting later Wednesday in which it is expected to update the outlook for tightening monetary policy in the coming year.

US stocks have fallen the last three sessions amid concerns over low oil prices and a big drop in the Russian ruble.