NEW YORK, New York – U.S. stocks traded higher Friday amid speculation the Federal Reserve will be less aggressive with interest rate hikes going forward.
Minutes of the previous monthly meeting of the FOMC committee revealed the potential slowing of increases.
“A substantial majority of participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increase would likely soon be appropriate,” the minutes said. “The uncertain lags and magnitudes associated with the effects of monetary policy actions on economic activity and inflation were among the reasons cited regarding why such an assessment was important.”
In late afternoon trading, the Dow Jones was ahead 134 points or 0.39 percent. The Nasdaq Composite was 120 points or 1.08 percent in front, while the Standard and Poor’s 500 was looking at a 25 points or 0.64 percent gain.
The U.S. dollar was sold off on the back of the Fed minutes, with the euro climbing to 1.0393 approaching the New York close. The British pound rallied to 1.2050. The Japanese yen was stronger at 139.47.
The Swiss franc advanced to 0.9424.
The Canadian dollar firmed to 1.3363. The Australian dollar rose to 0.6730. The New Zealand dollar jumped to 0.6240 after a 75 basis points rate hike by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
On overseas equity markets, the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.17 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 was ahead 0.32 percent. The German Dax edged up 0.04 percent.
New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 dived 96.62 points or 0.85 percent to 11,232.80.
Across the Tasman, the Australian All Ordinaries advanced 46.00 points or 0.62 percent to 7,422.40.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 170.95 points or 0.61 percent to 28,115.74.
South Korea’s Kospi Composite added 10.89 points or 0.45 percent to 2,416.66.
The Hang Seng increased 99.40 points or 0.57 percent to 17,523.81.
China’s Shanghai Composite rose 7.96 points or 0.26 percent to 3,096.91.