U.S. stock indices advanced on Thursday as oil prices climbed and a Fed official said that it might take more time to reach the inflation target.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 227.64 points, or 1.4%, to 16,379.05. The S&P 500 rose 31.56 point, or 1.7%, to 1,921.84 (all of its 10 sectors rose). The Nasdaq Composite added 88.94 points, or 2%, to 4,615.00.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said that renewed declines in oil prices may extend the period of time required to reach the 2% inflation target. However he did not say in which way slower inflation may influence the pace of rate increases. Now futures suggest a 41% probability of a rate hike in March compared to 47% in the previous month.
Market participants also watched earnings reports. Analysts expect a decline in profits per share.
This morning in Asia Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 1.24%, or 246.59, to 19,570.82. China Shanghai Composite Index dropped 2.94%, or 88.32, to 2,919.33. The Nikkei lost 0.83%, or 143.82, to 17,097.13.
Asian stocks fell amid renewed declines in oil prices and disappointing data from China. The People's Bank of China reported that loans came in at $1.79 trillion in 2015 (18.3% up from 2014). However the bank said that in December loans fell by 36.6% on a y/y basis to $91.3 billion.