Asian shares scaled a two-year top on Thursday as investors wagered policy tightening in the United States would be glacial at best, lifting Wall Street to record peaks and lowering bond yields almost everywhere.
The star performer was the Canadian dollar, which rocketed to 11-month highs after the country`s central bank hiked rates for the first time in seven years and left the door wide open to further moves.
The overall mood was one of relief that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen had not sounded more hawkish in her appearance before Congress, a green light for risk taking.
Sentiment got another boost when China reported upbeat data on exports and imports for June, helping the blue-chip CSI300 index rise 0.7 percent.
MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.2 percent to its highest since May 2015.
South Korea climbed 1.1 percent to a record after its central bank kept policy super easy to support consumer spending.
India also scored an all-time top, while Australia`s main index jumped 1.1 percent. Japan`s Nikkei was restrained by a firmer yen and ended flat.
In Europe, futures pointed to a steady start after a strong session the day before.
On Wall Street, the Dow had ended Wednesday up 0.57 percent, while the S