Wall Street up as oil price spike spurs energy shares

July 31st, 2008 - 7:47 am ICT by IANS  

New York, July 31 (DPA) Major US stock indices rose Wednesday after a surge in oil prices led energy companies to their largest gains in six years, while the Federal Reserve said it would extend borrowing to investment banks. Crude oil jumped $4.58 to $126.77 per barrel in New York trading as petrol inventories declined, sending an energy sector index up 5.6 percent.

Financial shares were helped by the Fed’s decision to extend until January an unprecedented lending programme for investment banks, which have struggled to raise capital amid an ongoing credit crisis in the US.

The Fed said that an extension of the loan programmes was warranted until “conditions in financial markets are no longer unusual and exigent.”

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 186.13 points, or 1.63 percent, to 11,583.69. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 21.06 points, or 1.67 percent, to 1,284.26. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10.1 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 2,329.72.

The dollar edged up to 64.19 euro cents from 64.15 euro cents on Tuesday and to 108.1 Japanese yen from 108.09 yen.

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