March 20, 2015 / 3:17 PM / 5 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. stocks, oil jump as dollar weakens

* Euro set for best week in over two years

* Wall St stocks rally, helped by weaker U.S. dollar

* Oil sharply higher despite oversupply concerns

* European stocks helped after Athens’ assurances (Updates to the open of U.S. trading, changes byline and dateline, previous LONDON)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks and crude oil advanced on Friday, capping a week of big swings as the U.S. dollar fell, easing concerns about the impact of the currency’s recent strength on economic growth.

Riskier assets such as equities were in general on track for a strong week, largely driven by comments from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, when the U.S. central bank struck a more dovish tone than investors had expected. It also appeared to argue against an interest rate hike in June, as had been largely anticipated.

The comments spurred a broad rally on Wednesday, followed by a retreat on Thursday. Friday marked the third straight session where the euro moved more than 1 percent on the day.

U.S. crude futures were on track for their first weekly advance of the past five weeks, while the S&P 500 was set to snap a three-week losing streak. The euro was on pace for its biggest weekly jump in more than three years, while the U.S. dollar index was set for its biggest weekly drop since 2011.

“If the dollar is going to show some weakness here and not take another leg to the upside, that gives the economy more room to grow,” said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in Nashville. “And if the Fed is going to remain friendly to the market, as it suggested it would, that will also continue to be a support.”

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 1.2 percent in its biggest one-day decline since September 2013. The euro rose 1.1 percent to $1.0782. The yen rose 0.1 percent against the dollar.

The dollar index is up more than 20 percent since mid-2014, raising concerns that strength in the currency could erode the profits of U.S. multinational companies.

European equities shrugged off the strength in euro, rising after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras assured European Union creditors his coalition would soon present economic reforms to unlock cash to stave off bankruptcy. The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.7 percent and hit its highest since 2007.

MSCI’s all-country world index of equity performance in 46 countries rose 1.1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 155.85 points, or 0.87 percent, to 18,114.88, the S&P 500 gained 15.72 points, or 0.75 percent, to 2,104.99 and the Nasdaq Composite added 34.80 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,027.17.

The market may see heightened volatility heading into the close as a result of quadruple witching: the expiration of stock options, index options, index futures and single-stock futures.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose 11/32 in price, pushing the yield down to 1.9355 percent.

Brent crude rose 1.1 percent to $55.01 per barrel while U.S. crude futures for April delivery jumped 3.4 percent to $45.45. While concerns remain about oversupply, oil was boosted by the dollar’s decline.

Both gold and silver rose for a third straight session, also helped by the dollar’s weakness. Gold rose 0.9 percent while silver jumped 3.5 percent. Copper rose 2.3 percent. (Editing by James Dalgleish)

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