Asian shares scaled two-year highs on Thursday while the dollar and U.S. bond yields slipped after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled a cautious approach to future rate hikes and the reduction of its $4.5 trillion of bond holdings. European shares are also expected to gain, with spread-betters looking to higher openings of 0.3 percent in Germany's DAX and France's CAC and 0.2 percent in Britain's FTSE. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 1.0 percent, hitting its highest level since May 2015, and bringing its gains so far this year to about 17 percent.
World stocks inched lower on Wednesday after China's sovereign credit rating was downgraded and as investors eyed a pause in Wall Street's four-day winning streak, the longest in over three months. The dollar and U.S. bond yields were steady as investors awaited the minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting. Europe's index of leading 300 shares was flat on the day around 1,540 points, MSCI's global share index was down 0.1 percent and U.S. stock futures pointed to a fall of up to 0.1 percent at the open on Wall Street.
World stocks inched lower on Wednesday after China's sovereign credit rating was downgraded and as investors eyed a pause in Wall Street's four-day winning streak, the longest in over three months. The dollar and bond yields were steady, with investors growing gradually more confident that the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates next month, while oil rose for a sixth straight day in anticipation of an OPEC-led output cut on Wednesday that may be extended to the first quarter of 2018. The biggest loser among major currencies was the Australian dollar, which is often regarded as a proxy for China due to the country's status as a major trading partner.