US stocks rise after Fed keeps interest rates near zero

New York: US stocks ended higher after the Federal Reserve left its interest rates unchanged at near zero.

All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors finished higher, with energy and financials both up more than 2 per cent, leading the gains.

Shares of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google-parent Alphabet all rose more than 1 per cent. The gains came as the chief executives of those companies testified at an antitrust hearing in defense of their business practices.

Meanwhile, US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher, with eight of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.

The US central bank on Wednesday kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the record-low level of near zero amid a resurgence in Covid-19 cases nationwide.

“The ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term,” the Fed said in a statement after concluding a two-day policy meeting, adding it decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0-0.25 per cent.

The Fed cut interest rates to near zero earlier this year in an effort to support the economy amid the pandemic shock.

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