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Gas prices ease and equities rebound as investors bank on Russia to step in

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Wall Street stocks opened higher on Thursday, as signs that Russia may help Europe avoid a full-blown gas crisis eased concerns about US inflation.

The blue-chip S&P 500 index rose 0.9 per cent in early New York dealings as Republicans and Democrats neared a deal to lift the government debt ceiling temporarily in a move that would avoid a potentially chaotic US default.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite gained 1.1 per cent, with both US markets now in positive territory for October after losing about 5 per cent each last month.

The moves came after European and UK gas prices dropped, tempered by Russian president Vladimir Putin saying his country was prepared to stabilise the market after prices shot higher on Wednesday.

Russia, a big supplier of gas to Europe, has been accused by some European politicians of deliberately withholding supplies in an effort to win approval for the contentious Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would send the fuel…

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