US stocks gain, dollar falls after Fed statement

Wall Street stocks vaulted into positive territory and the dollar fell against the euro after the Federal Reserve Wednesday signaled a cautious approach to raising interest rates.

Fifteen minutes after the release of the Fed policy statement at 1800 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 18,000.89, up 151.81 points (0.85 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 16.94 (0.82 percent) to 2,091.22, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 30.11 (0.61 percent) to 4,407.29.

All three indices had been in the red earlier, with the Dow down about 150 points about 20 minutes before the statement's release.

The Fed said US economic growth "has moderated somewhat" compared with its January meeting, when it said activity was "expanding at a solid pace."

The central bank removed a pledge to remain patient on raising interest rates, but made clear it would not rush into a rate hike before midyear.

"Even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run," the statement said.

The euro also gained on the dollar following the Fed statement, rising to $1.0693 from $1.0655 an hour earlier.