Volatile day on Wall Street ends with Dow Jones just 62 points in front

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NEW YORK, New York – U.S. stocks gained ground on Wednesday amidst turmoil on foreign exchange markets with the U.S. dollar rising to levels not seen since 2015.

However, most of the gains evaporated in the final hour of trading.

All the major indices on Wall Street were solidly into positive territory before then, but sellers then swamped the market.

“We’re trying to find a place of stability,” Kari Firestone, chairman and CEO of Aureus Asset Management, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Wednesday.”

“We need to see a few more names come in with really strong, reliable and sustainable earnings so investors can get back on board.”The Dow Jones industrials ended just 61.75 points or 0.19 percent in front at 33,301.93.

The Nasdaq Composite finished flat, down 1.81 points or 0.01 percent at 12,488.93.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 added 8.76 points or 0.21 percent to 4,183.96.

The euro bore the brunt of the FX carnage on Wednesday falling to 1.0512, a five-year low.

“The euro’s blatant inability to rally on hawkish comments by European Central Bank members means lingering vulnerability to an external environment negatively affected by an ever-concerning situation in Ukraine and generalized USD strength,” Reuters reported ING FX strategists as saying in a note to clients.

The European Union currency unit was hit after Russian energy supplier Gazprom cut gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria as they refused to pay for their supplies with roubles.

The euro, after hitting a 2017-low of 1.0512 recovered somewhat to trade at 1.0557 around the New York close Wednesday. The British pound slid to 1.2543. The Japanese yen was unwanted at 128.37. The Swiss franc fell to 0.9690.

The Canadian dollar weakened to 1.2823, the Australian dollar continued to crumble, last quoted at 0.7123. The New Zealand dollar dived to 0.6542.

On overseas equity markets, the Dax in Germany advanced 0.27 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 was up 0.48 percent. London’s FTSE 100 added 0.53 percent.

The Shanghai Composite regained 71.86 points or 2.49 percent, to close Wednesday at 2,958.28.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 11.65 points or 0.06 percent to 19,946.36.

The Australian All Ordinaries fell 65.70 points or 0.86 percent to 7,538.30 after the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed annual inflation had surged from 3.5 to 5.1 percent.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 sank 313.48 points or 1.17 percent to 26,386.63.

New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 declined 86.79 points or 0.73 percent to 11,726.39.

In Seoul, South Korea, the Kospi Composite lost 30.14 points or 1.13 percent to 2,638.17.