Global stocks rise after Fed kept interest rates unchanged

Pedestrians are reflected in a window outside the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney on March 17, 2016.

REUTERS/David Gray

MANILA, Philippines - Global stocks mostly rose Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and forecast it will raise rates more gradually than it had envisioned last year.

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 6,190.33 in early trading. Germany's DAX dipped 0.5 percent to 9,937.61. France's CAC 40 was down 0.1 percent at 4,456.60.

U.S. markets looked set for a lower open: Dow futures were down 0.3 percent and S&P futures declined 0.4 percent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed 0.2 percent lower at 16,936.38, shedding substantial gains in the morning. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 1.2 percent to 20,503.81. Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose 1 percent to 5,168.20. Shanghai's composite index came back from early losses, gaining 1.2 percent to 2,904.83. South Korea's KOSPI added 0.7 percent to 1,987.99. Southeast Asian markets also were higher.

"The Federal Reserve has inspired Asian markets today," said IG Chief Market Strategist Chris Weston. "Clearly, when the Fed are concerned by heightened global risk and persistently low inflation expectations, the result is traders reaching for the buy button."

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 95 cents to $39.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising $2.12 to $38.46 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oils, rose 80 cents to $41.13 a barrel. On Wednesday it gained $1.59 to $40.33.

The dollar fell to 111.56 yen from 112.77 yen the previous day. The euro rose to $1.1298 from $1.1215.