(AP) – Asian shares were mostly higher Wednesday night after the Federal Reserve signaled it may begin easing its extraordinary support measures for the economy later this year.
Shares rose in Hong Kong, Shanghai Australia and Taiwan but fell in South Korea and Malaysia. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.
The U.S. central bank indicated it may start raising its benchmark interest rate sometime next year, earlier than it envisioned three months ago.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that if the job market maintained its steady improvement, the Fed would likely begin slowing the pace of its monthly bond purchases.
At the same time, the Fed’s policymaking committee indicated Wednesday that it expects to start raising its benchmark interest rate sometime next year because central bankers are concerned high inflation pressures may persist.
The S&P 500 rose 1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq composite also rose about 1%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note wobbled up and down after the Fed’s announcement, but was holding steady at 1.31% early Thursday.
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