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Aug 31, 2012, 08.51 PM IST
Stocks and the euro rose on Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke kept the door open for future monetary easing, though he did not deliver an explicit signal of any imminent action during a highly anticipated speech.
Stocks on Nasdaq briefly turned negative after Wall Street had opened higher, following similar gains in Europe, where equity markets and the euro rose as signs emerged of progress toward a deal to tackle the euro zone's debt crisis.
But stocks, gold and oil prices soon rebounded from near break-even levels as investors parsed Bernanke's address to central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Bernanke said progress in bringing down U.S. unemployment was too slow and the central bank would act as needed to strengthen the economic recovery. But investors focused on what he had to say about monetary policy.
"The market was looking for him to not throw any cold water on the prospects for QE and he didn't throw any cold water on it," said John Canally, investment strategist at LPL Financial in Boston.
"The timing is a little bit iffy, but he didn't come out of the box saying that there has been substantial and sustainable improvement in the economy. Because he didn't do that, I think it's just a matter of time," Canally said.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 97.83 points, or 0.75 percent, at 13,098.54. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 7.80 points, or 0.56 percent, at 1,407.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 7.89 points, or 0.26 percent, at 3,056.60.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up almost 0.4 percent, or about half as high before Bernanke spoke, at 1,081.75. An index of world stocks was up 0.3 percent at 321.38.
The euro was up 0.9 percent at $1.2609, while the U.S. dollar index was down 0.7 percent at 81.102.
Investor hopes that more monetary easing would spur economic growth and support oil demand lifted crude oil futures.
Brent crude was up 85 cents at $113.50 a barrel, while U.S. crude added $1.12 to $95.74 a barrel.
Treasury prices rose. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 12/32 in price to yield 1.5858 percent.
Spot gold prices rose $9.90 to $1,665.40 an ounce.
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