Most Asian stocks rose with U.S. equity futures Wednesday after reassuring comments on inflation and monetary policy from Federal Reserve officials bolstered investor sentiment. Treasury yields held declines.
Technology shares helped MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific index climb for a second day, though Japanese equities edged back. European futures fluctuated and U.S. equity contracts advanced after both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 posted gains.
Overnight, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his view that inflation pressures will be transitory even after a notable increase in recent months. He added the Fed would be patient in waiting to lift borrowing costs. The dollar strengthened.
The currencies of Australia and New Zealand retreated on stepped up coronavirus curbs. Sydney will impose new restrictions to fight the Delta variant, while Wellington will move to a higher alert level.
Markets have stabilized after being buffeted by a hawkish shift in the Fed’s policy outlook as the recovery from the pandemic stokes price pressures. Officials have since sought to emphasize that the central bank is continuing to support the economy with asset purchases and low interest rates to make progress toward employment and inflation goals.