Most Asian stock market indices were trading higher on Wednesday (15 February), with the Shanghai Composite up 0.39% at 3,230.32 as of 5.03am GMT. The bullish trend follows a positive overnight close on the Wall Street amid bullish remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
On Tuesday, Yellen in her testimony to the Congress, said that the American central bank not raising interest rates for too long would be unwise amid the current rise in inflation and economic growth in the US. She suggested that the Fed's next rate increase could come as early as next month.
Analysts said these comments had a positive impact on US bank stocks overnight, which in turn led the Wall Street to record highs. This is said to have led to a bullish trend in Asian equity markets on Wednesday.
Commenting on the same, Takuya Takahashi, a strategist with Daiwa Securities was cited by Reuters as saying, "The market took heart from Yellen's comments and such positive sentiment will likely last throughout the day."
Meanwhile, Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG said, "Fundamentally, the U.S. banks are simply being used as a vehicle to express reflation and 'Trumponomics'. Although last night really belonged to Janet Yellen whose prepared comments that waiting too long to tighten would be 'unwise' and a further review its policy stance will take place at its upcoming meetings."
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 5.19am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||24,060.00||Up||1.51%|
On 14 February, the FTSE 100 index closed 0.14% lower at 7,268.56, while the S&P 500 index closed 0.40% higher at 2,337.58.
Among commodities, oil prices declined amid a stronger US dollar. As of 12.10am EST, WTI Crude Oil was down 0.66% at $52.85 (£42.40) a barrel, while Brent Crude was trading 0.59% lower at $55.64 a barrel.