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World stock markets climbed on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 ending higher after a brutal two-day selloff, led by a rebound in energy and technology shares, but the market faltered toward the session’s end as Apple shares surrendered gains ahead of the U.S.Thanksgiving holiday.

The recovery in U.S. tech and other momentum stocks boosted the benchmark S&P 500 stock index after it fell 3.5 per cent over the previous two sessions. Shares of Amazon.com Inc , Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc rose more than 1 per cent. Apple closed down 0.1 per cent.

Oil prices climbed after U.S. government data showed strong demand for gasoline and diesel, though gains were limited by concern over rising crude supply. U.S. crude prices had sunk to one-year lows after Tuesday’s sell-off.

In addition to the tech rebound, U.S. stocks also found support from speculation that the Federal Reserve could ease up on its path of interest-rate hikes, said Chad Morganlander, senior portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors in Florham Park, New Jersey.

A report from MNI suggested that the Fed may pause its rate hiking cycle as early as spring 2019.

“This, I believe, is leading investors to pause for a moment and say, ‘What if the Fed doesn’t raise rates?’” Morganlander said. “That, in a light day of trading, has a meaningful implication for the market.”

U.S. stock and bond markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and open for a half-day on Friday.

Based on the latest available data, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended flat, the S&P 500 gained 8.04 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 2,649.93 and the Nasdaq Composite added 63.43 points, or 0.92 per cent, to 6,972.25.

Canada’s main stock index rose in a broad-based rally on Wednesday, as oil prices rebounded from one-year lows boosting energy shares, while higher gold prices aided gains in shares of precious metal miners.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 218.02 points, or 1.47 per cent, at 15,095.02.

All 11 of Canada’s major sectors were higher, led by a 2.4-per-cent jump in energy stocks.

Encana Corp. was up 4.9 per cent, while Suncor Energy Inc. increased 3.5 per cent

Marijuana producers led healthcare stocks up 2.2 per cent. Canopy Growth Corp. rose 5 per cent, while Aurora Cannabis Inc. finished 2.7 per cent higher.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, gained 2.3 per cent as gold further rose on a softer dollar, boosting shares of precious metal miners. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. jumped 11.4 per cent.

The European STOXX 600 index also advanced 1.1 per cent as beaten-down stocks in the tech and banking sectors recovered.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.75 per cent.

Oil prices rose about $1 a barrel a barrel on Wednesday, bouncing from the lowest levels in months, after U.S. government data showed strong demand for refined fuel, but concerns remained over rising global crude supply.

Brent crude futures gained 95 cents to settle at $63.48 a barrel, up 1.52 per cent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $1.20 to settle at $54.63 a barrel, a 2.25-per-cent gain.

U.S. crude stocks rose 4.9 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said, a larger-than-expected increase. Crude inventories have risen for nine straight weeks, the longest streak since March 2017.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for WTI fell 116,000 barrels, the first drop in nine weeks, EIA said.

Gasoline stocks fell 1.3 million barrels to the lowest level since December 2017, while distillate stockpiles dropped by 77,000 barrels, the EIA data showed.

“Cushing posted the first decline in a couple of months, a possible portent of some leveling that could drive some support into the WTI curve,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, in a note.

The overall market remained weak after crude fell more than 6 percent the previous session, while world equities tumbled on worries about economic prospects.

Brent has fallen by more than 25 per cent since reaching a four-year high of $86.74 on Oct. 3, reflecting forecasts of slowing demand and ample supply from Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States.

Reuters

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