(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock index futures rose as traders took Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's hawkish comments in their stride, while continuing to assess the potential economic impact from the omicron virus strain.
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December contracts on the Nasdaq 100 gained as much as 1.5%, recovering the previous session's loss. Contracts on the S&P 500 rose 1%, while those on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.6%.
The rebound came after U.S. stocks sank Tuesday as Powell told Congress that policymakers will discuss whether to wrap up bond purchases a few months earlier, prompting traders to boost their wagers on the pace of interest-rate hikes. Powell -- who's spent months arguing that the pandemic surge in inflation was largely due to transitory forces -- said that it's "probably a good time to retire that word."
"It seems too early to read too much into his comments from yesterday," said Tomo Kinoshita, a global market strategist at Invesco Asset Management in Tokyo. "The FRB is still in the midst of figuring things out, as the impact of the omicron variant is yet unknown."
Equity benchmarks rose across most of Asia, with South Korea and Singapore leading the gains. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed more than 1% after a three-day selloff that sent it to a one-year low on Tuesday.
"The simple answer about Asian stocks is they are up today because they were down yesterday," said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG Markets. "Basically a lot of the price action we are experiencing at the moment is just noise, and a reflection of the high levels of uncertainty regarding omicron."
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