NEW YORK Global equity markets rallied on Wednesday, buoyed by an advance in oil prices on hope that top crude producers could lock down an agreement to curb production.
Despite optimism over the talks in Tehran between Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh and his counterparts from Iraq, Qatar and Venezuela, Iran said it would resist any plan to restrain its oil output.
Brent gained 5.8 percent at $34.05 and U.S. crude was up 5 percent at $30.51 a barrel.
The energy sector, up 2.7 percent, and materials, up 2.1 percent, led the way higher on Wall Street, with nine of the 10 major S&P sectors in positive territory.
"Most of it is just because oil found a little bit of a floor," said Ken Polcari, Director of the NYSE floor division at O’Neil Securities in New York.
"You might get another change in sentiment if (U.S. crude) breaks $30 and starts to trade at $30 or $31, then you get another little push because people will think maybe that was the bottom for oil."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 203.36 points, or 1.26 percent, to 16,399.77, the S&P 500 gained 27.21 points, or 1.44 percent, to 1,922.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 78.92 points, or 1.78 percent, to 4,514.87.
The S&P 500 has gained more than 5 percent since closing at its lowest level since February 2014 on Thursday, and is on track for its best three-day run since August.
In Europe, banks and resource stocks led the way, with French bank Credit Agricole soaring 15 percent after publishing its latest results and UK-listed miner Glencore up 13.6 percent after announcing the refinancing of its debt.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading shares was up 2.4 percent, bringing its gains for this week to nearly 5 percent to put it on track for its best week over in over a year.
Financials were up 3.3 percent and basic resources stocks surged 7.2 percent.
MSCI's index of world shares was up 1.25 percent, extending Tuesday's rise of 2.3 percent, its second-biggest gain in four years.
Markets were awaiting minutes of the Federal Reserve's last meeting to judge views of policymakers on the prospect of further interest rate hikes.
Economic data on Wednesday showed U.S. housing starts unexpectedly fell in January but producer prices rose last month, with signs of an uptick in underlying inflation, which is closely watched for signs the Fed will raise rates.
Investors' appetite for risk eventually seeped through to currencies and fixed income markets, where safe-haven assets like the Japanese yen and government bonds gave back initial gains, and gold also pulled back from its earlier high.
The dollar was up 0.19 percent against the yen to 114.28 yen while the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was down 18/32 in price at 1.8381 percent.
Gold was on track to snap a three-day losing streak, up 0.8 percent on the day at $1,210.20 an ounce but off its high.
Lead prices touched a two-week low of $1,744 a tonne after inventory data, while copper managed to edge up 0.3 percent.
(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Meredith Mazzilli)
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Updated Date: Feb 17, 2016 23:30 PM