Stocks rally as oil rises on Iran; Credit Agricole up 15%; – CNBC

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Investors are looking towards the minutes released later from the Fed’s January meeting. Markets will be hoping they give more clues as to the Fed’s internal talks around the path of interest rate hikes after it left rates on hold last month. Investors need to keep in mind what Fed officials have said in recent weeks when reading the minutes, according to analysts.

In recent weeks, all three senior Fed officials — William Dudley, Stanley Fischer, and Janet Yellen — have indicated in their own way that “‘financial conditions have become less supportive of growth’, and whatever comes out of this evening’s Fed minutes, markets should be mindful of that,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a note.

Read More Oil price rises ahead of OPEC talks with Iran

On the data front, the U.K.’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in the final quarter of 2015 at 5.1 percent, while wage growth slowed, highlighting that the Bank of England is likely to keep interest rates on hold for now.

In global markets, U.S. equities traded sharply higher on the back of oil and promising economic data, while Asia closed mostly lower, with the exception of China’s Shanghai composite and Shenzhen composite, which both closed above 1 percent.

Stocks rally as oil rises on Iran; Credit Agricole up 15%; – CNBC