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    16.03.2016 20:09 US stocks closed

    The Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed at its highest level this year as the Federal Reserve signaled a slower pace of interest-rate increases amid the potential impact from weaker global growth and financial-market turmoil.

    Commodity shares led the advance as crude rallied with metals prices after the Fed decision sent the dollar tumbling against major peers. Oracle Corp. rose to a four-month high, boosting technology shares after its quarterly profits topped estimates. Banks slid on the outlook for a slower climb in rates.

    The S&P 500 added 0.6 percent to 2,027.42 at 4 p.m. in New York, halting a two-day slide to close at its highest since Dec. 31.

    The Federal Open Market Committee kept the target range for the benchmark federal funds rate at 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. The median of policy makers' updated quarterly projections saw the rate at 0.875 percent at the end of 2016, implying two quarter-point increases this year, down from four forecast in December.

    "The committee currently expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will continue to strengthen," the FOMC said. "However, global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks."

    It is the third major central-bank policy event since Thursday, following an unprecedented stimulus package unleashed by the European Central Bank, and after the Bank of Japan held off from adding more to its record stimulus as officials gauge the impact of a negative interest-rate strategy adopted in January.


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