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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Asian Stocks Follow Wall Street As Fed Hints At Lower Rate Hike

Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Friday after a Federal Reserve official raised hopes the US central bank might not step up its anti-inflation fight as much as feared. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Sydney advanced. Oil prices retreated, Joe McDonald reported for the Associated Press (AP).

Photo Insert: Following Bostic's comments, the benchmark S&P 500 index on Wall Street rose 0.8% to 3,981.35, rebounding from a loss early in the day.

Wall Street rose Wednesday for the first time in three days after the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Raphael Bostic, expressed support for raising the Fed’s benchmark lending rate to a range of 5% to 5.25% — less than many investors are forecasting.

Bostic said the Fed might be able to suspend additional rate increases by mid-year, sooner than some expect.

Stocks advanced following those “dovish comments,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4% to 3,322.11 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.8% to 20,582.54.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 1.4% after government data showed Japan’s unemployment rate edged lower in January. The Kospi in Seoul gained less than 0.1% to 2,427.07 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.4% to 7,281.20.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.8% to 3,981.35, rebounding from a loss early in the day following Bostic’s comments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1% to 33,003.57.

The Nasdaq composite gained 83.50, or 0.7%, to 11,462.98. Treasury yields widened again Thursday.

Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, or the difference between its market price and payout at maturity, widened to 4.06% from 4.00% late Wednesday and from less than 3.40% earlier this year. It is near its highest level in four months.

The two-year yield rose to 4.90% from 4.88%. It is close to a 16-year high.

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