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By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The euro jumped against the dollar on Thursday as the European Central Bank signalled it could begin to wind down its 2.5-trillion euro stimulus program this year, while oil prices hit their highest since 2014 on tightening crude stocks, lifting energy shares.
U. S. Treasury yields fell after China disputed a report that its government officials had recommended the country slow or halt its purchases of the U. S. bonds. The Bloomberg News report had lifted yields on the 10-year government bond to a 10-month high on Wednesday.
The European Central Bank should revisit its communication stance in early 2018, accounts of its December meeting showed, suggesting that policymakers could soon start preparing markets for the end of the bank's massive stimulus.
"The expectation that the ECB is moving toward removal of stimulus is helping lift interest rate yields further. This has been long expected, but there was more formality in the minutes around how the bank will manage the forward guidance process as they exit unconventional policy," said Karl Schamotta, director of global product and market strategy at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.
The dollar index fell 0.46 percent, with the euro up 0.74 percent to $1.2033.
The Canadian dollar steadied against the greenback after hitting a nearly two-week low as investors weighed chances of a Bank of Canada interest rate hike next week and worried about the possibility of a U.
S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 106.63 points, or 0.42 percent, to 25,475.76, the S&P 500 gained 9.1 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,757.33 and the Nasdaq Composite added 26.87 points, or 0.38 percent, to 7,180.44.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.23 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.19 percent.
In the U. S. bond market, benchmark 10-year notes last fell 3/32 in price to yield 2.5605 percent, from 2.549 percent late on Wednesday.
U. S. crude rose 1.48 percent to $64.51 per barrel and Brent was last at $69.75, up 0.79 percent on the day.