March 1, 2021

Asian Markets Rise on News From U.S. Federal Reserve

The Nikkei 225 in Japan was 1.9 percent higher by midmorning, while the Kospi in South Korea had gained 2.3 percent, recouping some of the losses suffered during an extraordinarily volatile session the previous day.

In Australia, the SP/ASX 200 advanced 2.9 percent, and the market in New Zealand jumped 3.2 percent. The Taiex in Taiwan was 2.5 percent higher soon after the opening, and in Singapore, where the market had been closed because of a national holiday on Tuesday, the Straits Times index had gained slightly.

The moves came after stocks in the United States surged broadly Tuesday following the Fed’s signal that it would hold short-term interest rates near zero for at least two more years to support the faltering United States economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped nearly 4 percent, and the Standard Poor’s 500 stock index rallied 4.7 percent — in marked contrast to the previous day, when the market in the United States had seen its worst day since the midst of the financial crisis in 2008.

Futures on the Standard Poor’s 500 were a touch higher during the Asian morning Wednesday.

Still, analysts and strategists cautioned that uncertainty was likely to persist for many weeks. The United States economy is growing only slowly, and there is worry that the recent turmoil in the markets could hamper activity further. The debt woes plaguing various European countries also are expected to continue to shake market confidence.

Reflecting this lingering nervousness, assets deemed relatively safe amid times of uncertainty remained at elevated levels on Wednesday.

Gold, whose price has risen remarkably in recent months — and especially since the latest bout of jitters intensified last month — was at $1,753 per ounce Wednesday morning in Asia. And the yen remained firm, at just over 77 to the dollar.

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