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Asian Stock Markets Jump On Fed's Low Rates Pledge

PAMELA SAMPSON

BANGKOK (AP) â¿¿ Global stock markets rose Wednesday following a surge on Wall Street triggered by a Federal Reserve pledge to keep interest rates super low for the next two years to help the ailing U.S. economy.

Oil prices rose to near $82 a barrel, while the dollar slid against the yen and the euro. European shares were slightly higher in early trading after a restorative rally in Asia.

Britain's FTSE 100 index rose 0.2 percent to 5,177.23. Germany's DAX was 0.9 percent higher at 5,977.73 while the CAC-40 in Paris dipped 0.3 percent into negative territory at 3,153.01.

Meanwhile, Wall Street appeared set to capitulate after sizable gains the day before. Dow Jones industrial futures drooped 134 points, or 1.2 percent, to 11,060 and broader S&P 500 futures gave up 12.90 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,158.80.

On Tuesday, the Dow finished with a 429-point gain after the Fed said it would keep its key interest rate at a record low of nearly zero through the middle of 2013. The index dived 634.76 points the day before after Standard and Poor's cut the U.S. government's credit rating, sending shock waves through global markets.

Analysts warned investors to brace for more sharp swings in markets amid a dearth of signs of improvement in the global economy.

"There is a lot of fear and uncertainty in the market, and negatives will add to that. So if we see an increase in unemployment from the U.S., that is going to cause an increase in volatility," said Samuel LeCornu, portfolio manager at Macquarie Funds Group in Hong Kong.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index climbed 1.1 percent to close at 9,038.74 following a 7.6 percent loss in the last three days. Export shares, however, continued to struggle because of the strong yen, which hurts the country's export-driven economy by reducing the value of foreign earnings.

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