Attention was focused on the US Federal Reserve, which concludes a two-day policy meeting later on Wednesday, with expectations high that the central bank will extend its bond-buying programme dubbed “Operation Twist“.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei share average climbed 0.8 per cent.
“The market is waiting for the outcome of the Fed meeting, and many expect some kind of easing steps,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo. “If they’re disappointed, US stocks would fall, so that risk will likely keep the market here from pushing the upside too far.”
The liquidity hit provided by previous doses of Fed stimulus has lifted riskier assets, and financial markets have become highly sensitive to expectations of further moves, with global equities and commodities tending to rise and the dollar coming under pressure when action is seen as increasingly likely.
US stocks rose around 1 per cent on Tuesday, and industrial metals and the euro also gained ground.
The single currency eased a touch on Wednesday to trade around $1.2675, after rallying nearly 1 per cent in the previous session.
Copper also edged down, losing about 0.3 per cent to fetch around $7,584 a tonne, and oil was also a little easier, with Brent crude off 11 cents at $95.65 a barrel.
Gold, which tends to be pushed higher by monetary stimulus due to its traditional role as a hedge against inflation, rose around 0.2 per cent to about $1,620 an ounce.(curtsey: economic times)
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