Fed pledge to be 'patient' lifts Asia stocks

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Markets in Asia were mostly higher after the US Federal Reserve pledged to be "patient" on raising interest rates from record lows.

The Federal Reserve statement caused US stocks to climb the most since 2013.

Japan's Nikkei rallied 2.3% to close at 17,210.05 points while the broader Topix rose 1.8% to 1,376.32.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 246.37 points at 22,821.43 but the Shanghai Composite slipped 3.5 points to 3,057.52.

Australia's S&P/ASX200 index rose nearly 1% to close at 5,210.80 points, led by mining and energy stocks.

Japan's Sony was one of the big stock movers of the morning.

Its shares rose by 3.5% in Tokyo trading after its entertainment unit cancelled the release of "The Interview" following a cyber-security attack, which US investigators reportedly believes stemmed from North Korea.

The comedy movie is about plans to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Hackers incensed by the film leaked Sony documents and had threatened attacks on cinemas planning to show the film.

In South Korea, the Samsung Group's Cheil Industries made a strong trading debut, rising 6.6%, after pricing its initial public offering at the top end of the range.

Cheil operates theme parks and fashion outlets in the country and saw its shares double, outperforming the benchmark Kospi index which closed down 2.66 points at 1,897.50.

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