Asian stocks climbed, with the regional benchmark index rebounding from an almost nine-month low, after a Federal Reserve pledge to be patient on interest-rate increases sent U.S. equities up the most since 2013. Most metals advanced and oil swung between gains and losses.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 1 percent by 12:25 p.m. in Tokyo, as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) climbed from its lowest since May and Japan’s Topix index headed for its biggest gain in six weeks. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were little changed after the U.S. gauge jumped 2 percent, erasing about half of its December drop. Crude oil traded at $56.59 a barrel in New York. China’s yuan was at the weakest since July. Gold climbed 0.8 percent and nickel added 0.5 percent in London.
The Fed said it will be patient when it comes to the timing of rate increases, replacing a pledge in its statement to keep borrowing costs near zero for a “considerable time,” and raising its assessment of the job market. While falling unemployment is pushing the U.S. toward higher borrowing costs, plunging oil prices are holding inflation below target. Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a media conference amid the ruble’s slump.
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