Asian Equities Higher after Fed Vote

Asian shares rose for a third consecutive day on Friday, and the dollar remained on the back foot against the region’s currencies as investors bet U.S. interest rates will not as rise quickly as expected.”This removes a source of uncertainty for Asian markets in the near term and should be a positive factor going ahead, though the Greek factor will temper any optimism, ” said Stephen Chiu, a strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in Hong Kong.

A moderate recovery in the U.S. economy in previous months had raised concerns the Federal Reserve would strike a hawkish stance at Wednesday’s meeting, but its cautious tone sparked a sense of relief and prompted investors to snap up risky assets.  A broad index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS gained 0.6 percent while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 rose 0.9 percent from a one-month low set on Thursday.

Major U.S. share indexes .SPX .DJI jumped about one percent, with the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC finally erasing its last standing milestone from the dot-com era to set a record intraday high.  While analysts concluded the Federal Reserve is still on track for September to implement its first rate hike since the global financial crisis, fixed income derivatives markets such as Fed fund futures expected the first rate increase only in December.