* Fed hikes rates for first time since 2006
* Dollar strengthens after brief decline
* Oil resumes stumble after Tuesday climb (Adds close of U.S. markets, oil settlement prices)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Global equity markets on Wednesday cheered the decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, while the slump in oil prices resumed after a brief respite in the prior session.
The U.S. central bank's policy-setting committee raised the range of its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to between 0.25 percent and 0.50 percent, ending a lengthy debate about whether the economy was strong enough to withstand higher borrowing costs.
"This was a Santa Claus statement. They gave everybody what they wanted: gave savers a little bit more interest, investors a little bit more confidence in the economy, businesses a little bit more expectation of inflation, and helped governments by keeping the yield curve flat," said John Augustine, CIO of Huntington Wealth & Investment Management in Columbus (LSE: 0NPJ.L - news) , Ohio.
Short-dated bond yields rose, as anticipated, due to the effect Fed policy has on short-dated instruments, as investors expect further rate increases in 2016.
After an initial rally, though, long-dated 10-year and 30-year benchmark Treasuries also sold off, boosting yields, in part because of gains in equities. In addition, the Fed lowered its outlook for inflation for 2016, which some economists saw as a sign that its forecasted path of rate hikes might not quite come to pass.
The Fed's move, while modest, signaled broader comfort at the central bank in the health of the U.S. economy. The Fed's stimulus measures have helped the S&P 500 more than triple from lows reached in March 2009 during the Great Recession.
Even (Taiwan OTC: 6436.TWO - news) though the Fed's move points to a confidence in the economy's prospects, Brent crude resumed its slide as supply worries continue to outweigh any potential for improving demand.
The commodity settled down 3.3 percent at $37.19 after snapping a seven-day losing streak on Tuesday as U.S. government data showed a huge build in crude inventories. U.S. crude settled down 4.9 percent at $35.52.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 224.18 points, or 1.28 percent, to 17,749.09, the S&P 500 gained 29.66 points, or 1.45 percent, to 2,073.07 and the Nasdaq Composite added 75.78 points, or 1.52 percent, to 5,071.13.
Some had expected the Fed to reduce its target for the fed funds rate by the end of 2016, but it remained unchanged at 1.4 percent, which was viewed as modestly hawkish. However, the Fed lowered its expectations for 2017 and 2018.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes fell 8/32 in price to yield 2.2924 percent. Short-end yield rose sharply after the Fed, with yields on two-year Treasuries hitting a session high of 1.021 percent, the highest since April (LSE: 0N69.L - news) 2010.
MSCI (NYSE: MSCI - news) 's all-country world index rose 1.4 percent, its biggest gain in two months, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.3 percent ahead of the Fed statement after a 2.9-percent rally in the prior session.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, was up 0.16 percent at 98.373. The euro lost 0.19 percent at $1.0906.
The Fed also surprised investors by saying it will use all of its Treasury assets - more than $2 trillion - for its the so-called reverse repo facility, one of the two primary tools the Fed is going to use to siphon cash from the financial system. That was greater than anticipated and signals the Fed's determination to boost short-term rates.
"With (Other OTC: WWTH - news) the expansion of the reverse repo program, they should be able to achieve the rates they want. It (Other OTC: ITGL - news) gives them more flexibility," said Julien Scholnick, Portfolio Manager, Western Asset Management Co in Pasadena, California.
(Additional reporting by Richard Leong and David Randall; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Meredith Mazzilli)