HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed in holiday-thinned trade Monday, while the dollar dropped as investors lowered their expectations for US interest rate hikes.
Tokyo was the standout performer, rallying more than one percent following a blockbuster performance on Wall Street, where all three main indexes enjoyed a strong end to last week thanks to a tech rally, reports AFP.
Governor Christopher Waller said he was open to a 25-basis-point lift at the next policy meeting, though he did point out that the market's view on inflation was "very optimistic". Meanwhile, Philadelphia Fed boss Patrick Harker again called for slower increases.
And Kansas City boss Esther George said she was optimistic the world's top economy could still achieve a soft landing, despite worries that a series of big rate hikes last year would tip it into recession.
Adding to the positive mood is China's re-emergence from years of zero-Covid measures that essentially cut the country off from the rest of the world, hammering growth.
With most of the region closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, trading was thin.
Still, Tokyo led gains, while Sydney and Mumbai were also in positive territory.
Lower expectations for US interest rates weighed on the dollar against its major peers, while oil prices were flat after last week hitting their highest levels since November.