Asian equities posted modest gains Friday and were on course for the strongest week since early November, bolstered by continued signs of flexibility from the Federal Reserve and optimism over U.S.-China trade negotiations. The yuan held near its strongest since July.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.2 percent as of 9:30 a.m. in Hong Kong.
Shares in Tokyo led the region, with trading in Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia mostly flat.
Japan’s Topix index rose 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.1 percent. Hang Seng rose 0.1 percent.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell underscored the message of patience with further interest-rate hikes, while saying the central bank will keep shrinking its balance sheet to a more normal level -- a remark that sparked an intraday slide in stocks. Later, Vice Chair Richard Clarida said any sustained headwinds to the U.S. economy should be offset by policy.