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Asia-Pacific markets largely rise as Fed holds rates and shifts dot plot; EV stocks surge despite EU tariffs

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  • The Fed only projects one rate cut this year, down from three, but raises the number of total projected rate cuts to four in 2025.
  • Asia markets tracked gains on Wall Street following the Fed decision, with all major markets in the green.

Asia-Pacific markets largely rose on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve held the federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.5%, and shifted its "dot plot" to project only one rate cut this year.

This was down from the three cuts projected in its March meeting. However, the dot plot also indicated a more aggressive cutting path for 2025 — four rate cuts totaling a full percentage point are anticipated, up from three.

In Asia-Pacific, South Korea's Kospi led gains, popping 0.98% and closing at 2,754.89. The index marked a third straight day of gains, while the small cap Kosdaq was up marginally to 871.33.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.87%, powered by gains in electric vehicle stocks despite the European Union slapping tariffs of up of 38% on Chinese EV makers.

EV company BYD was the top gainer on the HSI, surging over 6%, while counterparts Nio and Li Auto saw their shares climb by 1.16% and 1.85% respectively.

The mainland Chinese CSI 300 also reversed earlier gains, losing 0.51% and hitting its lowest level in about two months.

Japan's Nikkei 225 reversed earlier gains to fall 0.4% to 38,720.47, while the broad based Topix was 0.89% lower to end at 2,731.78

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.44% and closed at 7,749.7, rebounding from two days of losses.

The Fed's post-meeting statement said "inflation has eased over the past year but remains elevated," echoing language from the last statement.

However, the new statement also said, "In recent months, there has been modest further progress toward the Committee's 2 percent inflation objective."

The previous language said there had been "a lack of further progress" on inflation.

Separately, inflation in May remained unchanged from April, rising 3.3% year-on-year and remaining flat on aa month-on-month basis.

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes rose in response to the Fed's decision and May inflation reading.

The S&P 500 jumped to a record and closed above 5,400 for the first time.

The broader market index climbed 0.85%, closing at 5,421.03, while the Nasdaq Composite also gained 1.53% and hit a record high. In contrast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.09%.

— CNBC's Lisa Kailai Han, Pia Singh and Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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