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US: Stocks rise after Federal Reserve minutes


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished higher on Wednesday after Federal Reserve meeting minutes suggested no shift in the central bank's dovish tilt.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a modest gain of less than 0.1 per cent at 26,157.16.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.4 per cent to 2,888.21, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.7 per cent to 7,964.24.

Minutes from the Fed's March 19-20 meeting showed most policy makers believed the central bank should leave US interest rates untouched for all of 2019, citing economic risks brewing abroad.

The minutes fleshed out the bank's decision at the March meeting to remove a projection of any rate hikes this year. That sentiment was further buttressed by US data that showed limited consumer inflation in March.

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Large banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America notched modest gains as CEOs from the companies withstood tough questioning on Capitol Hill.

While the banks were scrutinised over swelling executive pay and limited progress on appointing women and people of color to top jobs, there was little talk of meaningful new regulatory steps that could crimp profits.

Delta Air Lines gained 1.6 per cent after first-quarter earnings topped analyst expectations following strong growth in US corporate revenue.

Newly-public ride-hailing company Lyft slumped 10.9 per cent following reports that rival Uber planned to raise some US$10 billion in what would be the largest stock offering of the year.


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