Asian markets move higher after Fed holds interest rates steady
Asian markets mostly rose Thursday after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates steady, putting an end to the year’s series of rate cuts.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 1.2%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.1%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 moved up 0.2%.
China’s Shanghai Composite crept higher at open, but soon dipped 0.1%.
The Federal Reserve left its benchmark rate steady Wednesday in the United States. It also signaled an intention to keep interest rates unchanged in 2020 unless there is a material change to the economic outlook.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell “delivered a very clear message” that the central bank is on hold, and that the economy “seems to remain in a very good place,” wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda in New York, in a research note.
But he added that there’s not much to look forward to on one major issue: the US-China trade war.
A December 15 deadline for a new round of US tariffs on Chinese goods still looms. And there’s not yet any clarity on whether those duties will be delayed.