Daily Dose, EU

Asian Stocks Rise Following Fed, Yen Resuming Losses – Asia Market Wrap

Following Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s downplaying of the likelihood of additional interest rate hikes, most Asian stocks saw gains. After a sharp increase that suggested intervention late in the previous session, the yen started to lose again.

Japan saw minimal changes to benchmark equity indices, while Australia and Hong Kong saw gains. US stock futures contracts saw a surge as well. Now that the Fed’s decision has passed, the market is focusing on other possible triggers, such as Apple Inc.’s quarterly results later on Thursday and the US payroll data on Friday.

The yen increased late on Wednesday in New York before falling as much as 1.1%. Given Japan’s large interest-rate difference with the US, the currency’s recent slide indicates that investors are doubtful that the government can stop the currency’s decline. When asked whether officials had stepped in, Japan’s top currency official, Masato Kanda, said he had no comment.

After a plethora of data indicated persistent inflation pressures, Fed officials unanimously chose to maintain the target range for the benchmark federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.5%, downplaying the likelihood of impending rate hikes.