Asian markets gained in early trading Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged but indicated it is ready to make ease monetary policy if needed.
The Fed said it will “closely monitor” the economy given increasing uncertainty about government policy, though it signaled it may not need to lower rates before 2020. But Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the central bank is prepared to cut interest rates if necessary.
There was also encouraging news on the trade front, as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he plans to meet his Chinese counterpart ahead of the G-20 summit next week. “When actual negotiations begin again, I can’t say at this point,” Lighthizer said. “We’re talking. We’re going to meet.” The U.S. and China broke off trade negotiations in early May and have not met since.
rose 0.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
gained 0.9%. The Shanghai Composite
surged 2% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
advanced 1.6%. South Korea’s Kospi
was about flat, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan
were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
Among individual stocks, Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing
rose in Tokyo trading, along with Sony
and e-commerce company Rakuten
. In Hong Kong, Geely Automobile
, parent of Volvo Cars, gained after announcing a deal with Sweden’s Zenuity to supply it with self-driving software. China Life Insurance
also rose. Samsung
inched down in South Korea and Foxconn
advanced in Taiwan. Rio Tinto
sank in Australia, while Beach Energy