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Markets, US interest rate flat

Key European and Toronto market futures were looking up but the US’s three were lower, with the US Federal Reserve keeping interest rates on hold and indicating the coronavirus might pose risks to global growth.
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US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell at the press conference

Staff reporter

At a press conference following the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting, chairman Jerome Powell said some of the uncertainties around trade were diminishing and there were some signs global growth may be stabilising.

"Nonetheless, uncertainties about the outlook remain, including those posed by the new coronavirus," he said.

Most key market indices had closed slightly higher yesterday but the Hang Seng finished down 2.8% on Hong Kong's first day of trade in the Year of the Rat.

LME base metals rebounded yesterday after the index had fallen for a sixth straight session the previous day and 7.7% over the past week, as investors digested the impact of the virus on industrial production, Marex Spectron's Anna Stablum said from the LME desk in Singapore.

The gold price was up slightly on the spot market to US$1,577 an ounce.

Among the diversified miners, Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) closed up about 0.5%, Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.B) gained 0.3% yesterday and BHP (ASX: BHP) was up about 0.1% in morning trade.

Finally, Wallbridge Mining (TSX: WM) jumped almost 23% to return towards a one-year high as it reported high-grade gold results from its Fenelon project in Quebec for the second time this week.