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US: Stocks end higher as Federal Reserve keeps rates unchanged

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Wall Street stocks edged higher on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged while investors awaited news on trade talks.

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks edged higher on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged while investors awaited news on trade talks.

The Fed, as expected, made no change to interest rates after cutting the last three meetings in an effort to maintain solid economic growth.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the US outlook "remains favorable despite global developments and ongoing risks" as he described the grinding US-China trade war as a drag on global growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.1 per cent at 27,911.30, its first gain in three sessions.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent to 3,141.63, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4 per cent to 8,654.05.

The Fed decision came only days before the United States is scheduled to put new tariffs on Chinese goods, a move that could be delayed while Washington and Beijing haggle over a preliminary trade agreement that was announced in October.

Other market-moving events in the coming days include the British election and a meeting of the European Central Bank.

Among individual companies, Chevron dropped 1.4 per cent after it announced it will slash the value of its assets by as much as US$11 billion due to weaker oil and natural gas prices.

Fellow Dow member Home Depot slid 1.8 per cent on disappointment over its 2020 outlook.

AFP