Asian markets rise on Yellen comments

<p>The Nikkei was up following comments from the new Fed leader.</p>

The Nikkei and other major stock markets in Asia have risen today (February 12th) on the back of the latest comments from the new leader of the US Federal Reserve.

Janet Yellen, who took over as the Fed's head, replacing Ben Bernanke, revealed that economic recovery in the US is a long way from being complete.

Speaking in a testimony to the US House of Representatives' Financial Services Committee, her first comments made in public since her promotion to the role, Ms Yellen stated that there will be "a great deal of continuity" in policy until the recovery picks up even further.

This pledge boosted the main Asian markets and the Nikkei closed up by more than 0.5 per cent on the back of the news. Uncertainty over the future of the US economy has had a major impact on global markets, as investors have been unsure of whether or not the Fed would restrict its support for the economy through its quantitative easing scheme.

Markets pleased

Analysts stated that Ms Yellen did not disappoint the markets with her comments, with the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong also up following her speech to the committee.

"By a number of measures our economy is not back, the labour market is not back, to normal," Ms Yellen said. "There's a great deal of slack in the labour market still." Jobs figures in the US have been below expectations in recent weeks.

Asian markets had previously fallen heavily at the end of January after Ms Yellen, in one of her first moves as the new leader of the Fed, announced that it was cutting stimulus spending for a second month in a row.

The Fed revealed it is scaling back its monthly bond-buying programme by a further $10 billion to $65 billion (£39 billion), which led to markets such as the Nikkei suffering a heavy fall in value. The Nikkei dropped by three per cent when the news was announced before recovering.

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