Of the more local stocks, Kingfisher was one of the top performers, gaining 5.6 percent after it announced first-half profits that had exceeded expectations. The move reflects a strengthened economy and could mean higher rates on mortgages and other loans over time. "Generally, people are not buying into gold, because stock markets are higher".
"The announcement was pretty much in line with what was expected", said David Chalupnik, head of equities at Nuveen Asset Management.
"I really haven't had to give further thought at this point to this question", she told House lawmakers in July. "This will slowly impact growth".
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 2.78 points (0.11 per cent) to 2,506.65, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 6.68 points (0.10 per cent) to 6,461.32.
Markets elsewhere were mixed on Wednesday. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat. The yen also eased against the euro and the Australian dollar during Tuesdays Asian session, trading at 133.70 yen and 89.00 AUD. Wall Street futures augured a lukewarm start.
The U.S. central bank is expected to announce when it will begin paring its bond holdings, and while a September interest rate increase is not expected, investors will closely study Fed Chair Janet Yellen's views on inflation for clues whether the Fed will raise rates in December.
Apart from currency moves, yields on short-term and longer-term U.S. Treasuries also rose Wednesday following the Fed's statement.
The New Zealand dollar fell against a stronger U.S. dollar ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting which may provide hints to how and when the central bank will begin unwinding its massive balance sheet. The market increased the odds of a December rate hike to over 60%.
The Fed has said the "normalization" program is created to run in the background, to avoid roiling financial markets.
Markets in Asia closed mixed, with Japan's Nikkei Stock Average jumping 2% to its highest close since August 2015 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index falling 0.4%.
The economy expanded at a 2.1 per cent annual rate in the first half - in line with the pace during this expansion - and U.S. government 10-year notes yield about 2.24 per cent, down from 2.45 per cent at the start of the year.
Industrial companies, including airlines, led the gainers Wednesday.
No Fed officials dissented on the decision.
That is one-quarter of a point above the current level. While job growth remains strong, wage growth is modest and inflation weakened in recent months. The report from the National Association of Realtors pulled down home builder shares.
On the energy front, oil prices rose after declining slightly overnight. Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 3 cents to $50.66 a barrel added in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The kiwi reached as high as 73.72 U.S. cents and was trading at 73.63 as at 6:05pm from 73.12 United States cents immediately before the poll. Copper held steady at US$2.97 a pound.