Market Buzz: The Fed brings optimism to the markets

Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Russian stocks are expected to open higher Thursday after the US Federal Reserve announced new policy targets, while investors are keeping an eye on a Eurogroup meeting scheduled for later this day.

­Russian stocks closed strong on the back of high oil prices, while investors watched closely President Vladimir Putin gave his annual address to the Federal Assembly. The MICEX added 1.25% and the RTS rose 1.5%.
European shares closed slightly higher on Wednesday, as investors were cautious ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s meeting. The Stoxx Europe inched 0.1% higher. Italy’s FTSE MIB jumped 1.2%, after the government successfully sold 6.5 billion euros of public debt at lower borrowing costs. The German DAX 30 rose 0.3% supported by ThyssenKrupp AG industrial giant.

US stocks closed flat, erasing previous gains, after Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke warned on Wednesday the Fed doesn’t have the ability to secure the economy from the fiscal cliff. But the Fed said it’ll add $45 billion in Treasury-note purchases to support the economy. The S&P 500 added less than 0.1%, while the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq shed less than 0.1%.

Asia stocks mostly gained on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve announced an expansion to its asset-buying program. Japan’s Nikkei Stock surged 1.75% to a fresh multi-month high, while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng traded flat, but the Shanghai Composite bucked the trend 0.7%.