European stocks were higher after the Fed essentially pledged to keep interest rates down. Asian stocks closed mostly higher.
Here are five things that matter for markets now:
- The European Central Bank announced the results of its first targeted long-term refinancing operation (TLTRO), meant to give very cheap funds to banks in the eurozone on the condition that they lend it on to companies. The central bank allotted 82.6 billion euros in its first TLTRO at its record low rate of 0.15%. The amount is likely to be considered too low to kick-start the stalled economies of the single currency area. Bloomberg had reported expectations ranged between 100 billion and 300 billion euros for the take-up of the first TLTRO.
- A referendum is underway in Scotland on whether it should break away from the United Kingdom and become independent. The results will be announced Friday morning and polls have shown it was too close to call. Markets have been jittery about it since a poll two weeks ago showed for the first time the pro-independence camp in the lead.
- German pharmaceutical conglomerate Bayer (BAYRY) announced it plans to float its plastics business to focus entirely on life sciences.
- Japanese electronics firm Toshiba (TOSYY) will cut 900 jobs during a restructuring effort of its PC business that will include exiting the business-to-consumer sector in some parts of the world, the company announced.
- Hackers close to the Chinese government have infiltrated U.S. computer systems linked to military operations repeatedly, a U.S. Senate panel found. The targets were U.S. airlines, technology companies and other contractors.