Stocks in Asia traded higher on Friday morning following an overnight surge on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting a gain of more than 200 points.
The broad MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.23 percent to 531.30. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.27 percent in early trade. The Topix index also advanced 0.13 percent.
Over in South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.36 percent. Meanwhile, shares in Australia gained in morning trade as the ASX 200 advanced 0.81 percent, with almost all the sectors in positive territory.
In overnight market action stateside, the 30-stock Dow surged 216.84 points to close at 25,962.51 and the S&P 500 ended its trading day 1.1 percent higher at 2,854.88. The Nasdaq Compositealso saw gains as it rose 1.4 percent to close at 7,838.96.
On Wednesday, the Fed said it does not expect to raise rates at all in 2019. The central bank had forecast at least two rate hikes for this year back in December. The Fed added that it expects to end its balance-sheet reduction process by the end of September.
Treasury yields fell sharply on Wednesday, with the benchmark 10-year rate hitting its lowest level in a year. The yield traded at 2.53 percent on Thursday while the short-term 2-year rate held at 2.41 percent.
The U.S. central bank did, however, lower its economic growth forecast for 2019, raising concerns over a possible slowdown in the economy.
US dollar pares gains
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.355, slipping from earlier levels but still off lows below 96.0 seen yesterday.
The Japanese yen traded at 110.84 against the dollar after touching highs below 110.5 in the previous session, while the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7110 after slipping from highs above $0.716 yesterday.
Oil prices traded cautiously in the morning of Asian trading hours, with the international Brent crude futurescontract slipping 0.1 percent to $67.79 per barrel and U.S. crude futures largely flat at $59.99 per barrel.