Asian stocks higher, tracking US gains on Fed assurance

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“Yellen’s comments this week have increased downside risk to the dollar”, said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange.The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300.FTEU3 stock index ended up 0.5 percent, before Yellen’s remarks.”The dovish remarks by Yellen earlier this week which reinforced the Fed’s stance to proceed gradually and cautiously with rate hikes this year have weighed on the USA dollar index, which is a positive for gold”, Vyanne Lai, an economist at National Australia Bank Ltd., said by e-mail.The Dow Jones industrial average was up 110.61 points, or 0.63 percent, at 17,743.72, the S&P 500 was up 10.68 points, or 0.52 percent, at 2,065.69 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 31.88 points, or 0.66 percent, at 4,878.51.Year to date, the US dollar has seen a decline of about 3.8%, while oil prices continue to trade near the high $30-a-barrel range.MetLife’s shares rose 4.7 percent after a court ruled that the life insurer was not systemically important to the country’s financial system.Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.6 per cent at $US15.24 an ounce, platinum was down 0.2 per cent at $US965.11 an ounce and palladium was down 2 per cent at $US562.22 an ounce. No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.32 percent to 155,500 won, but its smaller affiliate Kia Motors retreated 1.5 percent to 49,250 won amid worries that its Mexico plant under construction could hit a snag as the local government recently proposed renegotiations for its promised incentives and support.We got ADP’s private payrolls data ahead of the open, which showed a more-than-expected gain by 200,000 for March, with a downward revision by 9,000 to 214k for February.Continued concerns over global economic growth, negative real returns in Europe and Japan, anticipation of a slower Fed rate hike cycle, and increased volatility in global markets are likely to keep money flowing into gold ETFs it said. But the rally has eased over the past week as supply looks set to keep rising. Chevron was up 1 per cent.Stock markets were encouraged by U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen’s comments affirming plans to move slowly in raising rates.