Wall Street rallies to huge gains, record closing

Wall Street rallies to huge gains, record closing

On the currency markets, the dollar rose 0.2 percent against the yen, while the British pound hit a six-week low of $1.2261 following renewed Brexit fears and disappointing data out of the United Kingdom on Wednesday. The Russell 2000 index slumped 21.29 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,386.68.

The Dow is up 1,352.95 points, or 6.9 percent.

The US markets had closed lower on Tuesday, with the Dow snapping a 12-day winning streak. Investors shrugged off mixed trade balance and building approvals figures. The Dow is up 4.8% in February for its best performance since November, while the Nasdaq has gained 3.8% in its fourth straight monthly advance.

Alumina soared 9 percent after reports that China has ordered steel and aluminium producers in 28 northern cities to slash output during winter.

A report from the Commerce Department showed a slightly bigger than expected increase in personal income in January, although the report also showed that personal spending rose by less than expected. The owner of Snapchat is on track to price its IPO above its target of between $US14 and $US16 a share, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the offering.

Seoul shares hit a one-week high as traders returned to their desks after a public holiday on Wednesday.

Deepa makes political entry on Jayalalithaa's birth anniversary
Deepa said she was sad at the hijacking of the party and that Palanisamy was not a popular choice. Meanwhile, Jayalalithaa's niece Deepak Jayakumar is also likely to make a political announcement.

At midmorning, USA benchmark crude was down 91 cents to $52.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

That rise was driven predominantly by spikes in the share prices of megabank JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Still, despite the strong reading on USA consumer confidence in February - the best since summer 2001 - investors were unwilling to make ever bigger bets on the Dow ahead of Trump's highly publicized speech to Congress late Tuesday.

The S&P 500 is up 157.13 points, or 7 percent. Government bonds rose after Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said that risks around future official cash rate movements are equally weighted. If the current trend continues until the closure, the gap between the three major indices would not be much. Hong Kong's Hang Seng bucked the trend higher, though, dropping 0.8%.

The Dow Jones added 303 points, or 1.5 percent, to climb above the 21,000 threshold for first time in history, and closed at 21,115 points.

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