Stocks rise


    TOKYO/NEW YORK- Asian shares and US stock futures rose on Thursday after the Federal Reserve committed to maintaining accommodative monetary policy and projected a rapid jump in US economic growth this year as the COVID-19 crisis eases.

    MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.99 percent, while stocks in China rose 0.46 percent. Australia’s market bucked the trend and fell 0.3 percent.

    E-mini futures for the S&P 500 advanced 0.3 percent.

    While inflation is expected to reach 2.4 percent this year, above the central bank’s 2 percent target, Fed Chair Jerome Powell called it a temporary surge that will not change the Fed’s pledge to keep its benchmark overnight interest rate near zero.

    The dollar recouped some losses against the yen but extended declines against commodity currencies, hurt by the lower-for-longer rates commitment by the Fed.

    Long-term Treasury yields remained elevated in Asian trading as bond investors chose to focus more on rising inflation expectations.

    “If the Fed isn’t going to induce tightening, it’s very bullish for risky assets,” said Teresa Kong, head of fixed income and portfolio manager at Matthews Asia. “We should be seeing a mild rally in Asian assets and currencies.”

    Shares in South Korea and Hong Kong also jumped more than 1 percent, taking their lead from a strong session on Wall Street.

    The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Wednesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 33,000 points for the first time, bolstered by the Fed’s strong economic forecast and Powell’s comments that it is too early to discuss tapering-off measures.