KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Asian stock markets were mostly higher today amid growing expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve won't start reducing its monetary stimulus until at least the first quarter of next year.
With uncertainty over the raising of the U.S. borrowing limit temporarily resolved, investors have focused on other matters, notably when the Federal Reserve will reduce its mammoth monetary stimulus that has been a boon for stock markets.
U.S. hiring and durable goods orders for September were weaker than expected, signaling that growth momentum may be slowing and reinforcing expectations that a scaling back of stimulus known as "tapering" won't begin until next year.
Analysts say further U.S. data releases this week including September industrial production, retail sales, inflation and consumer confidence as well as a Fed policy meeting could reaffirm that expectation.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil was down, remaining below $98 a barrel. The dollar was little changed against the euro and it fell against the yen.