On Wednesday, S&P 500 rose 0.3% while the Dow gained 0.6%. The Nasdaq added 0.4%.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5% to 3,463.07 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 1% to 30,216.75. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 1.2% to 29,384.84.
The Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.6% to 3,066.01 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was off 0.7% at 6,745.90.
India’s Sensex lost 0.8% to 49,401.84. New Zealand also declined while Southeast Asian markets advanced.
Investors have been uneasy that inflation might accelerate after governments flooded their economies with extra spending and credit to reverse the deepest global slump since the 1930s.
Central banks traditionally respond to higher pressure for prices to rise by hiking interest rates. But Fed officials have said they would let the U.S. economy “run hot” to make sure a recovery is gaining traction.
Before his comments Wednesday, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond, or the difference between its market price and the payout if held to maturity, widened to 1.68%, the highest level since January 2020.
Yields fell and stocks gained after Powell spoke.
Banks, industrial stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending helped lift the market. Those gains outweighed a pullback in health care, utilities and other sectors.
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