Asia-Pacific markets rise as Fed holds rates and shifts dot plot

In Asia

The sails of the Opera House are illuminated with projections on the opening night of Vivid Sydney 2023 in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, May 26, 2023.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets rose on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve held the Federal Funds rate at 5.25% to 5.5%, and shifted its “dot plot” to project only one rate cut this year.

This was down from the three cuts projected in its March meeting. However, the dot plot also indicated a more aggressive cutting path for 2025 — four rate cuts totaling a full percentage point are anticipated, up from three.

In Asia-Pacific, South Korea’s Kospi led gains, popping 1.39% and on pace for a third day of gains, while the small cap Kosdaq was up 0.6%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.56%, while the broad based Topix was marginally lower.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.8%, rebounding from two days of losses.

Hong Kong Hang Seng index futures were at 18,035, higher than the previous close of 17,937.84.

The Fed’s post-meeting statement said “inflation has eased over the past year but remains elevated,” echoing language from the last statement.

However, the new statement also said, “In recent months, there has been modest further progress toward the Committee’s 2 percent inflation objective.”

The previous language said there had been “a lack of further progress” on inflation.

Separately, inflation in May remained unchanged from April, rising 3.3% year-on-year and remaining flat on aa month-on-month basis.

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes rose in response to the Fed’s decision and May inflation reading.

The S&P 500 jumped to a record and closed above 5,400 for the first time.

The broader market index climbed 0.85%, closing at 5,421.03, while the Nasdaq Composite also gained 1.53% and hit a record high. In contrast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.09%.

— CNBC’s Lisa Kailai Han, Pia Singh and Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

Read More: Asia-Pacific markets rise as Fed holds rates and shifts dot plot

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