Asian Shares Rally After Fed Meeting

Asian stocks posted strong gains on Thursday, while the dollar weakened and bond yields eased after comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggested that the U.S. central bank is hitting pause again on its rate-hiking campaign.

After leaving interest rates unchanged at a two-decade high for the second straight policy meeting, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday indicated that policy would likely remain unchanged into 2024.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index ended down 0.5 percent at 3,009.41, reversing earlier gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.8 percent to 17,230.59, paring initial gains.

Japanese shares rose sharply on expectations that U.S. yields may have peaked. The Nikkei 225 Index closed 1.1 percent higher at 31,949.89 after having crossed the key psychological 32,000 mark for the first time in two weeks. The broader Topix Index rose 0.5 percent to 2,322.39.

Chip-related shares led the surge, with Advantest spiking 10 percent and Tokyo Electron gaining 4.9 percent. Tech investor SoftBank Group advanced 1.5 percent.

Seoul stocks rallied despite signs of accelerating inflation. Data showed the country’s headline inflation accelerated for a third straight month to reach a seven-month high in October amid higher food costs. The Kospi soared 1.8 percent to 2,343.12.

Australian markets rose despite weak trade data. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.9 percent to close at 6,899.70, with bank and tech stocks pacing the gainers. The broader All Ordinaries Index settled 1.0 percent higher at 7,095.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P NZX-50 Index jumped 1.8 percent to 11,044.44.

U.S. stocks rallied overnight as comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggested that rate hikes were done.

Weaker than expected ADP employment and manufacturing data also eased concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

The Dow rose 0.7 percent to close higher for the third consecutive session as the Fed skipped a rate hike for the third time this year.

The S&P 500 rallied 1.1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.6 percent.

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