US markets
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)Getty

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed in positive territory for 2016 after rising for the fifth straight session. Gains across the major indexes were aided by a rise in materials and industrials, as well as a surge in oil prices.

The blue-chip index surged 155.73 points, or 0.9%, to settle at 17,481.49, with General Electric Co up 2.6%, and Boeing Co up 2.5%, leading gains. According to CNBC, the Dow Jones closed 0.32% higher for the year so far.

The S&P 500 index, briefly turned positive for the year and closed up 13.37 points, or 0.7%, to settle at 2,040.59. MarketWatch reported that nine of its 10 main sectors ended the day higher, with the health care sector closing down. The best performing S&P 500 stock was FedEx Corp, which surged 12% following the company's report of stronger-than-expected earnings late on 16 March.

"Investors are encouraged by FedEx's earnings and outlook, and higher oil prices are helping energy companies, which a jump in gold is helping mining shares," explained Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets.

The Nasdaq Composite ended up 11.01 points, or 0.2%, settling at 4,774.99, in spite of declines in biotech stocks. CNBC reported Apple closed a bit lower and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETC (IBB) dropped 1.2%.

The dollar, which saw declines following the Federal Reserve's statement on 16 March, continue on a sharp decline. The ICE dollar index fell 1.3% to 94.67, the lowest it has closed since October. The euro hit $1.13, its highest since 11 February, while the yen hit 111.47 yen against the greenback.

Gold futures surged $35.20 (£24.31), or 2.9%, to settle at $1,265 an ounce. Treasury yields traded down, with the 2-year yield holding flat near 0.86% and the 10-year yield at 1.90%.

According to MarketWatch, several major European equity markets dropped sharply, however, the Stoxx Europe 600 index only dropped 0.1% In Asia, the Asia ADOW closed up and Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down.