Global markets: stocks gain, dollar sags on dovish-sounding Fed
By Shinichi Saoshiro TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose on Thursday tracking a Wall Street rally as dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell boosted investor sentiment towards riskier assets. The dollar sagged against its peers on Powell's comments, which suggested the Fed's interest rate hike cycle may come to an end faster than initially anticipated.
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose on Thursday tracking a Wall Street rally as dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell boosted investor sentiment towards riskier assets.
The dollar sagged against its peers on Powell's comments, which suggested the Fed's interest rate hike cycle may come to an end faster than initially anticipated.
The Fed chair said on Wednesday that U.S. policy rates were "just below" neutral, less than two months after saying rates were probably "a long way" from that point.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> rose 0.6 percent. Australian stocks <.AXJO> gained 0.8 percent and Japan's Nikkei <.N225> climbed 0.9 percent.
However, while a robust Wall Street buoyed Asian shares, gains in the region were nonetheless limited ahead of a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping due to take place on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
The Dow <.DJI> rallied 2.5 percent and Nasdaq <.IXIC> surged nearly 3 percent on Wednesday as Powell's comments eased concerns of a faster pace of rate hikes in 2019. [.N]
"Equities gained as Powell hinted of implementing fewer rate hikes when the economy is still doing well," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.
"The likelihood slower U.S. monetary tightening caused the dollar to slump against currencies, particularly the euro, which could soon benefit from an ECB rate hike."
The euro was steady at $1.1366
The dollar was little changed at 113.57 yen
The Australian dollar, sensitive to shifts in broader risk sentiment, jumped more than 1 percent on Wednesday and last stood at 0.7306
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies <.DXY> was effectively flat at 96.828 following an overnight loss of 0.6 percent.
The U.S. two-year Treasury yield
In commodities, U.S. crude futures were up 0.7 percent at $50.65 per barrel
Oil prices sank on Wednesday after U.S. crude inventories rose for the 10th straight week to the highest in a year, adding to worries about a worldwide supply glut. [O/R]
Graphic: World FX rates in 2018 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
(Editing by Sam Holmes)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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