Stocks surge after Fed meeting

Equity markets are strongly ahead at lunchtime after the US Federal Reserve announced it was not going to trim its stimulus package in the near future.

The FTSE 100 is up 1.5%, as traders welcomed the US central bank’s decision to keep its bond buying programme at $85 billion per month. Analysts were expecting a reduction of €10 billion per month, but when the policy was left unchanged traders bought into the market. The mining sector has gained the most ground as a combination of higher metal prices and increased market sentiment has driven up prices.

In corporate news, ASOS has reported a 47% increase in fourth-quarter revenue. The share price is up 11% today, and the company’s value has nearly doubled in the past year. Gulf Keystone Petroleum has reported a first-half loss of $26.4 million, an improvement on last year’s loss of $31.4 million. The stock is down 6%.

In the US, the Dow is 14 points higher at 15,690, after the number of people claiming unemployment benefit dropped below analysts' estimates.

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