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US: Stocks rise after huge Shell deal


[NEW YORK] US stocks opened higher on Wednesday following news of Royal Dutch Shell's US$70 billion takeover of BG Group as the market awaited the kickoff of earnings season.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,924.79, up 49.37 points (0.28 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 5.92 (0.29 per cent) to 2,082.25, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 16.32 (0.33 per cent) at 4,926.56.

Analysts said Shell's £47 billion acquisition of BG could set off a wave of mergers in the energy industry in the wake of the big drop in oil prices. Petroleum producers Marathon Oil (+1.1 per cent) and Anadarko Petroleum (+1.9 per cent) were among the companies gaining in opening trade.

Traders were also looking ahead to the 1800 GMT release of minutes of the March monetary policy meeting of the US Federal Reserve and to Alcoa earnings, which will be reported after the market closes.


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