US stocks rise at open ahead of key ECB meeting

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks rose in opening trade Wednesday, advancing with oil prices and European equities ahead of a much-anticipated European Central Bank meeting.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,029.68, up 65.58 points (0.39 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 8.94 (0.45 per cent) to 1,988.20, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 15.50 (0.33 per cent) to 4,664.32.

Oil prices in New York rose above US$37 (S$51.1) a barrel in early trade ahead of the US Department of Energy's weekly petroleum inventory data, lifting petroleum-linked shares.

Equity markets in Paris and Frankfurt were up more than one percent ahead of Thursday's ECB meeting.

The ECB will almost certainly announce new stimulus measures, analysts said, as eurozone inflation turns negative and the economic outlook continues to dim.