US STOCKS-Wall St gains as Fed signals fewer rate hikes for year

miércoles 16 de marzo de 2016 15:31 GYT

* Fed holds steady, eyes two rate hikes this year

* Materials best performing sector

* Indexes up: Dow 0.57 pct, S&P 0.63 pct, Nasdaq 0.77 pct (Updates with further market reaction to Fed statement)

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK, March 16 (Reuters) - Wall Street gained on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and signaled fewer rate hikes for the year.

The Fed indicated moderate U.S. economic growth and "strong job gains" would allow it to tighten policy this year with fresh projections showing policymakers expected two quarter-point hikes by the year's end, half the number seen in December.

But the U.S. central bank noted the United States continues to face risks from an uncertain global economy.

Because of that uncertainty, "the committee judged it prudent to maintain the current policy stance at this meeting," Fed Chair Janet Yellen said.

The decision to keep rates steady was in line with analyst predictions.   Continuación...