Morning Report

EQUITY

Asia stocks rose to a four-month high on Thursday, tracking Wall Street, after the Federal Reserve pledged to be patient with further interest rate hikes, signaling a potential end to its tightening cycle amid signs of slowing global growth.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose to its highest since Oct. 4 and was last up 0.4 percent. Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.4 percent. Australian stocks added 0.4 percent, while South Korea’s KOSPI advanced 0.7 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow and the Nasdaq rallied 1.7 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, on hopes the Fed’s pause would give the U.S. economy and corporate profits more room to run.

FOMC

The Fed on Wednesday held interest rates steady as expected, and also discarded its promises of “further gradual increases” in interest rates.

The Fed’s statements firmly confirmed its dovish stance, which had already been on display at the start of the year. Market concerns toward the Fed’s rate hikes have now been put to rest,

CURRENCY

In currencies, the dollar index against a basket of six major currencies struggled near a three-week low of 95.253 brushed on Wednesday, when it had sunk 0.5 percent.

A weaker dollar helped nudge the euro to $1.1501 on Wednesday, its highest since Jan. 11, and the common currency was last up 0.1 percent at $1.1488.

The greenback was down 0.1 percent at 108.96 yen and close to a two-week low of 108.81 reached overnight.The pound was a shade higher at $1.3123,

BONDS / OIL

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield stood at 2.681 percent after sliding to 2.676 percent overnight, its lowest since Jan. 14.

Oil prices rose after U.S. government data showed signs of tightening supply and as investors remained concerned about supply disruptions following U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry.

U.S. crude oil futures were up 0.46 percent at 54.48 per barrel.

Source : Reuters

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