US stocks tick up ahead of Fed minutes

New York, April 7 (IANS) US stocks traded higher in the morning session Wednesday as Wall Street cheered over a strong rebound in oil prices while awaiting the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting.

By midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 78.04 points, or 0.44 percent, to 17,681.36, Xinhua news agency reported.The S&P 500 added 13.13 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,058.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 46.47 points, or 0.96 percent, to 4,890.40.

Oil prices surged on Wednesday, with both US oil and Brent crude soaring about 5 percent around midday, after the US government reported a surprise decrease in crude inventories for last week.

US commercial crude stockpiles fell 4.9 million barrels to a total of 529.9 barrels in the previous week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, investors kept a close eye on the minutes of the US central bank’s March 15-16 meeting, which were scheduled for release later Wednesday afternoon, for hints on the future path of interest rates and any differing views from inside the Fed.

The minutes are expected to reveal a little more of the thinking prompting the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to delay in March the second rate hike of the normalisation.

On Tuesday, US stocks ended lower after wavering below the flatline in a narrow range, as investors digested a batch of mixed economic reports.

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