Asian stocks gained, with the regional benchmark extending a five-month high, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated an increase in interest rates is unlikely before mid-year.
Techtronic Industries Co., a maker of power tools that gets about 73 percent of sales from North America, climbed 3.8 percent in Hong Kong. Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. gained 7.7 percent in Seoul after being upgrade to buy at Samsung Securities Co. Sands China Ltd. slipped 5.8 percent, pacing losses among casino operators, amid weak gambling revenue over the Lunar New Year holiday period. Genting Singapore Plc dropped 6.2 percent after reporting a slump in profit.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.6 percent to 146.20 as of 4:17 p.m. in Hong Kong after closing at its highest since Sept. 12 on Tuesday. The Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 Index advanced to a fresh record after Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee that wage growth remain too low even as the job market improves, and signaled that a change in the Fedâ€™s guidance on interest rates wonâ€™t lock it into a timetable for tightening.
South Koreaâ€™s Kospi index and Taiwanâ€™s Taiex index each advanced 0.7 percent. Japanâ€™s Topix index was little changed. Singaporeâ€™s Straits Times Index increased 0.2 percent. Australiaâ€™s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.3 percent. New Zealandâ€™s NZX 50 Index jumped 2.1 percent to a record close. Hong Kongâ€™s Hang Seng Index rose 0.1 percent.
Source : Bloomberg