US stocks rally as oil extends gains

New York, Jan 23 (IANS) US stocks posted solid gains as further recovery in oil prices boosted investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 210.83 points, or 1.33 percent, to 16,093.51 on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 jumped 37.91 points, or 2.03 percent, to 1,906.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index surged 119.12 points, or 2.66 percent, to 4,591.18.

Oil prices soared Friday, with both the US oil and Brent crude spiking about 9 percent, as traders started to buy the dips despite persistent oversupply worries.

The West Texas Intermediate for March delivery moved up $2.66 to settle at $32.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for March delivery increased $2.93 to close at $32.18 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Meanwhile, hopes of stimulus in the euro zone also cheered Wall Street. The European Central Bank (ECB) held its key interest rates at record low levels on Thursday and planned to “reconsider” its monetary policy early March in a bid to lift weak inflation and stimulate the economy.

“It will therefore be necessary to review and possibly reconsider our monetary policy stance at our next meeting in early March,” said ECB president Mario Draghi.

Analysts said Draghi’s remarks suggested that the ECB is willing to offer more stimulus at its next meeting in March.

In other markets, the US dollar gained against euro as Draghi’s comments signalled further stimulus.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was up 0.56 percent at 99.573 in late trading.

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell as US equities rallied for the second day in a row.

The most active gold contract for February delivery dropped $1.9, or 0.17 percent, to settle at $1,096.3 per ounce.

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