Asian Shares Rally On Dovish Fed Stance

(RTTNews) - Asian stocks rallied on Thursday as investors cheered the Fed's dovish stance and signal on potential rate cuts in 2024.

A weaker dollar lifted gold prices to a record high above $2,200 per ounce, while oil resumed upward momentum after falling sharply in the U.S. trading session overnight.

China's Shanghai Composite Index fluctuated before finishing marginally lower at 3,077.11 on concerns over sluggish growth and persistent weakness in the property market. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 1.9 percent to 16,863.10.

Japanese markets posted strong gains as traders returned from a holiday and data showed the country's exports grew for a third consecutive month amid increased demand in key markets.

The Nikkei 225 Index surged 2.0 percent to 40,815.66, closing at a record high. The broader Topix Index settled 1.6 percent higher at 2,796.21.

Heavyweights Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group shot up 2.8 percent and 5 percent, respectively, while automaker Toyota Motor climbed 3.4 percent.

The yen edged higher as manufacturing activity showed improvement in March and reports suggested the BOJ's next rate hike is likely in July or October.

Seoul stocks led regional gains after experts said the Bank of Korea would likely start cutting interest rates in July.

The benchmark Kospi soared 2.4 percent to 2,754.86, marking the highest level since April 5, 2022, when the index closed at 2,759.20.

Samsung Electronics rose 3.1 percent after climbing 5.6 percent the previous day. SK Hynix shares spiked 8.6 percent.

Australian stocks rose sharply as data showed employment in the country rebounded strongly in February, with the jobless rate dropping far below forecasts.

The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index rallied 1.1 percent to 7,782, notching a new high. The broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 1.1 percent at 8,044.60, with gold miners leading the surge after a sharp increase in bullion prices.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand's benchmark S&P NZX-50 Index rose 0.7 percent to 11,915.71 despite weak government data showing the country has entered its second recession in 18 months as a result of aggressive interest rate hikes to tame inflation.

U.S. stocks rose overnight, while bond yields fell as the Fed left interest rates unchanged for a fifth straight meeting and maintained its forecast for three rate cuts in 2024.

The S&P 500 added 0.9 percent to set a record high for a second straight day as Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that the Fed's next move is likely to be a cut sometime this year.

The Dow rallied 1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.3 percent to hit record highs.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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