Asian shares up, US dollar wallows

27 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

SHANGHAI: Asian shares rose on Wednesday while the US dollar stood near its lowest levels this year after US Federal Reserve officials reaffirmed a dovish monetary policy stance, providing yet more assurance to investors worried about the inflation outlook.

Richard Clarida, the Fed’s vice chair, said on Tuesday that the U.S central bank would be able to curb an outbreak of inflation and engineer a “soft landing” without throwing the country’s economic recovery off track, report agencies.

All the same, Clarida’s comments reflect a shifting tone at the Fed. A month ago, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said it was “not yet” time to even contemplate discussion of policy tapering, but more recently policymakers have acknowledged they are closer to debating when to pull back some of their crisis support for the U.S. economy.

That uncertainty weighed on U.S. stocks overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.24 per cent, the S&P 500 off 0.21 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite 0.03 per cent lower.

But in Asia, the soothing Fed comments helped to boost sentiment.