September 16, 2014 / 12:32 AM / 3 years ago

Stocks end higher on bet Fed won't change rate stance

The London Stock Exchange is seen during ther morning rush hour in the City of London April 11, 2011.Toby Melville

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets around the world rose on Tuesday, ending near session highs as investors bet that the U.S. Federal Reserve wouldn't adjust its guidance about how soon it would raise interest rates.

The Fed began its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, and the central bank has said it wouldn't raise rates for a "considerable time." Many investors interpreted that as mid-2015, though recent economic data has fueled speculation that the first hike could come sooner. Those concerns seemed to fade on Tuesday, with market participants seeing no change in Fed policy or commentary.

"The rumor is (the Fed) won't change the 'considerable time' language," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey, referring to the Fed's previously stated timeline of when it will raise rates.

"Overall the language that's there now has been positive for the (stock) market," and the rumor "seems to be what shifted the markets' direction today."

A man looks up as he is reflected on an electronic board displaying Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo August 11, 2014.Toru Hanai

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 100.83 points, or 0.59 percent, to 17,131.97, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 14.85 points, or 0.75 percent, to 1,998.98 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 33.86 points, or 0.75 percent, to 4,552.76. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was flat in price to yield 2.5906 percent.

The gain on Wall Street lifted the MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS 0.4 percent, while European shares were down 0.2 percent, having closed before Wall Street turned higher in midday trading. Europe was pressured ahead of a referendum on independence in Scotland, which kept investors on edge with polls suggesting the vote remains too close to call.

Asian shares slipped, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS shedding 0.7 percent to its lowest since late June, while Japan's Nikkei .N225 snapped a five-session winning streak to close down 0.2 percent.

In the currency market, the dollar .DXY fell 0.2 percent against a basket of currencies while the euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.2959 against the dollar.

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 1.1 percent to $98.97 per barrel, while U.S. crude futures CLc1 gained 2 percent at $94.82 per barrel, rising on the prospect of a likely supply cut from OPEC.

Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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