Asian stocks gained, with the regional benchmark extending a five-month high, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated an increase in interest rates is unlikely before mid-year.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.3 percent to 145.82 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo after closing at its highest since Sept. 12 on Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced to a fresh record after Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee that wage growth remain too low even as the job market improves, and signaled that a change in the Fed’s guidance on interest rates won’t lock it into a timetable for tightening.
“Equities are slightly fully priced but aren’t unduly expensive,” Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management in Sydney, where he oversees about $550 million, said by phone. Yellen’s statement “doesn’t alter anything from our perspective as investors. We’re not yet in a fully synchronized global recovery but broadly most economies are developing in a right way. There are black spots. Chinese economic activity has been a concern.”