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Asian Stock Market Soars to 7-Month High

Asian stock market has hit a fresh 7-month high after the Lunar New Year holiday with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbing 0.9% to 557.65.

The index is set for its fifth straight day of gains and has gained 10% so far in January. This is due to the expectation of a strong economic rebound in China and hopes that most major central banks are nearing an end to hefty rate rises.

Trading was thin on Thursday with Australia closed for a holiday and certain parts of Asia, including China, still away for the Lunar New Year. The buoyant mood looked set to continue in Europe, with the Euro Stoxx 50 futures up 0.58%, German DAX futures 0.58% higher and FTSE futures up 0.30%. Traders betting that the U.S. Federal Reserve will soon tone down its aggressive rate hike policy got a lift after the Bank of Canada on Wednesday raised rates but became the first major central bank to say it would likely hold off on further increases for now.

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