Asian share markets rise in wake of US rally

Markets in Asia rose in the wake of US markets’ overnight records – inspired by Wednesday’s apparent hardening of the US’s stance on interest rates.

The Federal Reserve introduced a subtle change of tone, saying it would be “patient” in moving to normalise interest rates.

That statement was seen as firmer than the previous “considerable time” before rates were raised.

The Nikkei jumped 2.4% to close at 17,621.40 points.

The broader Topix rose 2.4% to 1,409.61.

Japan’s central bank kept monetary policy on hold after having surprised markets two months ago with a stimulus increase.

Australia’s S&P/ASX200 index rallied 2.45% to close at 5,338.65 points while New Zealand stocks added 0.2% to 5,527.75.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose about 1.3% to close at 23,116.63 points while the Shanghai Composite gained 1.7% to reach 3,108.60 points.