BANGKOK -- Asian stock markets mostly rose today after expectations for an imminent phasing out of the Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus program began to fade.
Data released Friday showed a drop in new home sales raised questions about the strength of the recovery in the U.S. housing market, a key piece of the overall economy. That led to speculation that the Fed might stick with its current monetary stimulus or only reduce it very gradually.
Previous data pointing toward an improved economy has led to speculation that the Fed would begin phasing out the program as early as next month. But the plunge in home sales caused some analysts to rethink their assumption that the Fed would start "tapering" in September.
Benchmark crude oil rose to near $107 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and fell against the yen.