Asian index futures climbed amid a rebound in U.S. stocks as data fueled optimism over the American economy and after Federal Reserve meeting minutes confirmed the outlook for interest rates. Australian bonds retreated.
Futures on gauges from Japan to Hong Kong advanced at least 0.3 percent as consumer and health-care stocks drove the Standard & Poor™s 500 Index higher for the first time in six days. The greenback held gains, trading near a nine-year high versus the euro after the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained to its strongest level since at least 2005. Yields on 10-year Australian bonds rose from a record low after similar maturity Treasuries snapped a seven-day rally. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 1.5 percent to $48.65 a barrel, up from a 5 1/2-year low.
Most Fed officials agreed their commitment to be œpatient on raising rates meant there would be no increase in near-zero borrowing costs before late April, according to minutes of the December meeting released yesterday. Some policy makers expressed concern over below-target inflation and the impact of slowing growth globally. Japan updates on inflation expectations today, after data yesterday showed consumer prices in the euro area fell in December for the first time since 2009.
Futures on Japan™s Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 1.7 percent to 17,140 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, while contracts traded in Osaka were up 1.1 percent to 17,140 by 3 a.m. local time.