Asia stocks mostly opened higher after the US dollar jumped in value following the end of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing stimulus program.The US central bank also confirmed it would maintain record-low interest rates for “a considerable time.”
This caused the greenback to jump 0.7% to a near three-week high against the Japanese yen, which spurred gains in the country’s exporter stocks.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.6% while Australian stocks gained 0.4%.
New Zealand’s stock index rose to a record after the country’s central bank left interest rates at a near six-year high of 3.5% on Thursday.
Hong Kong and Shanghai shares opened marginally higher.
“While the ending of US QE could contribute more volatility to shares it has largely been anticipated,” Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital said.
“With the US likely to continue growing and monetary conditions expected to remain easy for some time to come the cyclical bull market in shares likely has further to go.”
Investors will now be looking ahead to the US economy’s latest growth report out later on Thursday and the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy decision on Friday.
Markets have also been factoring in a slew of earnings in some of Asia’s biggest companies.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone-maker, saw shares rise 3.4% despite a sharp drop in quarterly after it lost market share to cheaper Chinese rivals.
Shares in Nintendo rose more than 7% in early Tokyo trading after the gaming company reported better-than-expected profits.
However, Yahoo Japan and Mitsubishi Motors failed to impress with their results. Both firms saw their shares fall by about 6% on Thursday.
South Korea’s top internet portal operator Naver fell by more than 3% after its profit results came in slightly short of estimates.
Over in Singapore, construction firm Yongnam Holdings surged 20% on news it was part of a consortium that won a $1.5bn contract to build a second international airport in Myanmar.