Global markets: Stocks end higher on bet Fed won't change rate stance

 A pedestrian looks at an electronic board showing the stock market indices of various countries outside a brokerage in Tokyo on Aug 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
 A pedestrian looks at an electronic board showing the stock market indices of various countries outside a brokerage in Tokyo on Aug 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets around the world rose on Tuesday, ending near session highs as investors bet that the U.S. Federal Reserve wouldn't adjust its guidance about how soon it would raise interest rates.

The Fed began its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, and the central bank has said it wouldn't raise rates for a"considerable time".

Many investors interpreted that as mid-2015, though recent economic data has fuelled speculation that the first hike could come sooner. Those concerns seemed to fade on Tuesday, with market participants seeing no change in Fed policy or commentary.

"The rumour is (the Fed) won't change the 'considerable time' language," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey, referring to the Fed's previously stated timeline of when it will raise rates.

"Overall the language that's there now has been positive for the (stock) market," and the rumour "seems to be what shifted the markets' direction today".

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 100.83 points, or 0.59 percent, to 17,131.97, the S&P 500 gained 14.85 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 1,998.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 33.86 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 4,552.76.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was flat in price to yield 2.5906 per cent.

The gain on Wall Street lifted the MSCI world equity index 0.4 per cent, while European shares were down 0.2 per cent, having closed before Wall Street turned higher in midday trading.

Europe was pressured ahead of a referendum on independence in Scotland, which kept investors on edge with polls suggesting the vote remains too close to call.

Asian shares slipped, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shedding 0.7 percent to its lowest since late June, while Japan's Nikkei snapped a five-session winning streak to close down 0.2 per cent.

In the currency market, the dollar fell 0.2 per cent against a basket of currencies while the euro rose 0.2 per cent to US$1.2959 against the dollar.

Brent crude rose 1.1 per cent to US$98.97 (S$123.58) per barrel, while U.S. crude futures gained 2 per cent at US$94.82 per barrel, rising on the prospect of a likely supply cut from OPEC.