Asian markets rise as Yellen reaffirms commitment to low rates

Guy Bentley
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Asian markets have seen minor gains after the US posted better than expected industrial production figures, and the chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen reaffirmed the Fed's commitment to supporting the recovery.

Investors were reassured by Yellen's remarks to the Economic Club of New York that the US would "likely require low real interest rates for some time."

The Fed chair said it could take as long as two years for the US to reach full employment and there was still a significant risk of inflation remaining too low.

However, Google's failure to meet analyst expectations for its first quarter results has had a negative impact on the Japanese tech sector. IBM also weighed on markets after reporting its lowest quarterly revenue in five years.

Japan's Nikkei is down 0.1 per cent, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index has advanced 0.2 per cent. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index is up 0.01 per cent, while the Topix has added 0.03 per cent. South Korea's Kospi has taken a hit of 0.3 per cent.