Apr 26, 2012, 09.29 AM | Source: Reuters
Asian shares gained on Thursday, retaining positive momentum as the Federal Reserve reassured markets that it will keep its very accommodative stance to support growth.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday said US monetary policy was "more or less in the right place" even though the central bank would not hesitate to launch another round of bond purchases if the economy were to weaken.
The Fed also adjusted its economic forecasts to acknowledge an improving labour market and slightly higher inflation over the next few years, suggesting the central bank has grown somewhat less inclined to take more action to help the economic recovery.
The dollar measured against a basket of major curencies fell to a three-week low on Wednesday, boosting the euro to USD 1.3237. The euro stood at USD 1.3230 early on Thursday.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.4% while Japan's Nikkei average opened up 0.6%.
"The totality of all new Fed communications ... have reinforced the idea that the policy bias is currently neutral and that the outlook remains highly dependent on incoming data," said Societe Generale in a note.
"There were a few vague and seemingly conflicting signals in today's communications, which probably reflect the difficulty in reconciling the very diverse views within the FOMC," it said.
Along with the Fed's assurance that its very easy monetary policy will be kept in place as long as needed, US stocks rallied on Wednesday, with Apple's