Volatility characterised US markets again as they tentatively opened higher only to fall back before rebounding again in the first 20 minutes after markets opened.
The S&P 500 is up 0.71 per cent, or 13.1 points to 1872.46, having fallen to 1850. The Nasdaq recovered from a low point of 4438, and is currently up 28 points, 0.63 per cent, to 2299.7. The Dow Jones Industrial Index plunged straight away, down to 15,719, but manage to regroup, and is now up 0.83 per cent, 130.8 points, to 15,897.6.
Most analysts are attributing the gains to doveish comments made by president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi earlier today.Draghi warned that "downside risks have increased again”, so interest rates will remain “at present or lower levels” for some time and the ECB will be reviewing its bond buying programme in March as a result.
US oil prices also climbed higher, nearer the $28 a barrel mark, after reaching the lowest levels since 2003 yesterday at $26.55.
The S&P fell to its lowest since February 2014 yesterday as well, below the 1820 level, which saw $2 trillion wiped off its value in 2016, although it managed to rebound before the closing bell to 1859. It is down around eight per cent so far this year, along with the Dow Jones, which is down 9.26 per cent from a year ago.
Whether Drahgi's comments and modest oil gains are enough to sustain a market rally, we will see.