U.S. stocks surged after the FED statement as investors shrugged off worries of a rate near hike. The Federal Reserve, although removing the 'patient' wording from its minutes, lowered forecasts on economic growth and inflation - the strong dollar keeps inflation below the targeted 2% and slows export-growth. FED chair Janet Yellen said that the FED has not yet decided on the timing of a rate hike but it could happen at any FOMC meeting this year. The bank will have a close eye on international developments before hiking rates. This leaves the door open for a more flexible policy and the option to move later than June.
The S&P 500 closed 1.22% with a final quote of 2,099.50 points. The DOW JONES index added 1.27% closing at 18,076.19 points.
Chinese stocks continued to add gains on Thursday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is trading higher 1.27% at 24,425.81 points. China's Shanghai Composite closed at 3,582.19 points closing 0.14% - up for a sixth consecutive day reaching the highest level since June 2008. Markets were supported by Premier Li Keqiang comments on Sunday to further stimulate the economy if necessary.
The Nikkei retreated from 15-year highs on Thursday on profit taking after the recent rally. Banks led shares lower, Nintendo could further add gains after the announcement that the company will enter the smart-phone market. The index closed -0.35% with a final quote of 19,476.56 points.