Asian Markets Take a Minor Hit

Asian markets suffered a glancing blow on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy outlook was deemed less dovish than some had wagered on, lifting both bond yields and the dollar.

The damage was mostly superficial with MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan off just 0.3 percent. Shares in Shanghai lost 0.7 percent while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 eased 0.4 percent.

Helping sentiment was the Bank of Japan’s decision to stick with its massive stimulus program that has shown tentative signs of breaking the grip of deflation.  There was also upbeat news from Australia where approvals to build new homes surged to their highest since early 2010, concrete evidence that record-low interest rates were working to support economic growth.

Reuters

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