US stocks rally to halt five-day losing streak

March 5th, 2009 - 7:40 am ICT by IANS  

New York, March 5 (DPA) US stocks posted strong gains Wednesday, spurred by a global rally as China prepared to unveil new plans to stimulate its economy.
China’s annual National People’s Congress opens Thursday. Speculation about a new stimulus package sparked a rise in metals, energy and industrial shares in the United States and across the globe.

Alcoa Inc, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, and Caterpillar Inc all climbed more than 12 percent.

Stock indices in Europe and Asia made gains earlier Wednesday, led by a 6.1-percent rise in China’s Shanghai Composite Index. Europe’s EuroStoxx 50 Index climbed 4.22 percent.

The United States Treasury released new details of a $75-billion plan to stabilize the collapsing US housing market at the heart of the economic crisis, while the House of Representatives was close to a deal on separate mortgage legislation.

Major Wall Street stock indices climbed for the first time in five days, pulling back from 12-year lows.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 149.82 points, or 2.23 percent, to 6,875.84. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index jumped 16.54 points, or 2.38 percent, to 712.87 after closing below 700 Tuesday for the first time since 1996. The technology- heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was up 32.73 points, or 2.48 percent, to 1,353.74.

The US currency dropped against the euro to 78.99 euro cents from 79.63 euro cents Tuesday. The dollar climbed against the Japanese currency to 98.98 yen from 98.16 yen Tuesday.

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