Asian stocks braked around two-month highs on Thursday, while the dollar nursed modest losses, after the U.S. Federal Reserve chose not to hike interest rates for the first time in 17 months, even if it opened the door to more hikes ahead.
The Fed left its benchmark funds rate window at 5-5.25%, and chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank needed to gather more information about the economy to determine what to do next.
Committee members surprised markets by projecting two more 25 basis point hikes this year, sending short-term U.S. yields higher and closing out bets on any cuts in 2023.
The euro , made a one-month peak after the decision at $1.0865 and now, at $1.0826, awaits a European Central Bank meeting later in the day where markets expect an eighth straight rate hike will take borrowing costs to two-decade highs.
The S&P 500 (.SPX) churned sideways overnight and futures slipped 0.1% in Asia. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) rose 0.2%, while Japan’s tearaway Nikkei (.N225) paused for breath and was flat.