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Asia stocks edge higher, Fed stars in central bank extravaganza

Omicron remained a concern with British Prime Minster Boris Johnson warning of a "tidal wave" of new cases of the coronavirus variant, though markets are still counting on vaccines to limit the economic fallout.

December 13, 2021 / 08:00 AM IST

Asian stocks crept higher on Monday as investors prepared to tiptoe through a minefield of 17 central bank meetings this week and the likely early end to U.S. policy stimulus.

Omicron remained a concern with British Prime Minster Boris Johnson warning of a "tidal wave" of new cases of the coronavirus variant, though markets are still counting on vaccines to limit the economic fallout.

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to signal a faster tapering of asset buying this week, and thus an earlier start to rate hikes. It will also update the dot plots for rates over the next couple of years.

The market is already well ahead, with a rise to 0.25% fully priced in by May and rates of 0.75% by year end.