Asia markets were to set to trade higher despite a lower finish in U.S. stocks following the release of the latest Federal Reserve minutes.
Nikkei futures in Chicago and Osaka traded at 21,835 and 21,970, respectively, while the benchmark index previously closed at 21,970.81.
Australia’s ASX 200 opened up 0.23 percent in early trade, with the heavily weighted financials subindex gaining 0.24 percent.
Markets in China are set to resume trade after being closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
In the Fed’s latest meeting minutes, officials saw increased economic growth and an uptick in inflation as justification to continue raising interest rates gradually.
Still, members of the Federal Open Market Committee did not raise rates at their January meeting.
The meeting was also the final one for Chair Janet Yellen, who led the Fed as it took the first steps to normalization following years of very low interest rates. She was succeeded by Jerome Powell, who is expected largely to carry on Yellen’s strategy of gradual rate hikes.
“Our take is that the Minutes reflect events prior to the jump in hourly earnings seen in the January Jobs report and also prior to the extra spending bill passed by Congress early in February,” Rodrigo Catril, a senior currency strategist at the National Australia Bank, wrote in a morning note.
“This would suggest that there is a good chance that the current FOMC thinking has evolved towards a more hawkish tone since,” he added.
Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury yields whipsawed following the news. Yield on the 10-year note initially fell from session highs after the release, but recovered to reach a fresh four-year high.
In the currency market, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, traded at 90.117, recovering from an earlier low of 89.588.