US Federal Reserve meeting minutes indicate more rate hikes in the future
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was trading 0.11% higher.
The minutes of the Federal Reserve’s meeting released on Wednesday showed that officials are ready to go ahead with raising interest rates by 50 basis points. The FOMC also said policy may have to move away from “neutral” and “restrictive” territory.
Stocks on Wall Street rose after the release of the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes, with the S&P 500 index up around 0.95% to 3,978.73. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 191.66 points, or 0.6%, to 32,120.28. The heavy Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.51% to 11,434.74.
“The FOMC meeting minutes revealed broad consensus on the need for a 50 basis point policy rate tightening over the next two meetings,” Rodrigo Cattrell of the National Australian Bank wrote in a note on Thursday.
“The market found some comfort with the idea that the minutes revealed broad consensus on 50 basis point increases in June and July and the possibility of a pause later in the year,” Cattrell said.
Currency and oil
The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 102.045 after the recent pullback from levels above 102.2.
The Japanese yen was trading at 127.17 against the dollar, weaker compared to levels below 126.9 against the dollar earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7091 after its recent bounce from levels below $0.708.
Oil prices rose in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.34% to $114.42 a barrel. US crude futures rose 0.47% to $110.85 a barrel.
CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.