* Fed's accommodative policy stance lifts risk appetite
* Dollar struggles after Treasury yields sink on Fed
* Spreadbetters see higher European open
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, June 19 Asian shares rose on Thursday
after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave a positive assessment of the
economy and committed to keeping monetary policy accommodative.
Financial spreadbetters saw the momentum carrying on into
Europe, with Britain's FTSE seen rising as much as 0.5
percent at the open, Germany's DAX up 0.6 percent and
France's CAC 0.7 percent higher.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
gained 0.8 percent.
Tokyo's Nikkei brushed aside a stronger yen and
outperformed the rest of the region, advancing as much as 1.5
percent at one point to a 4-1/2-month high.
"Yesterday's Fed announcements include more than one piece
of good news, so that's positive for Japanese market sentiment,"
said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a strategist at Mizuho Securities in
"The Fed sees the U.S. economy as on track, while it hinted
of low interest rates in the long term."
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended at a record high
after the Fed hinted at a slightly faster pace of interest-rate
increases starting next year but suggested rates in the long run
would be lower than it had indicated previously.
World markets have been buffeted in recent weeks by concerns
over China's slowdown and an uneven global recovery. Turmoil in
Ukraine and Iraq have further undermined sentiment.
The Fed's accommodative policy stance is seen as one of the
positives, as rising consumption in the U.S. is expected to help
underpin some of Asia's big export-driven economies.
The dollar struggled against its peers, hurt as U.S.
Treasury yields fell sharply on the Fed's long-term rates
projection and as policymakers showed little discomfort over
recent signs of a pick up in consumer prices.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield fell
to as low as 2.575 percent, its lowest in a week.
Elsewhere in sovereign debt, the usually placid Japanese
government bond market felt a knock after the Bank of Japan on
Wednesday said it may trim the amount of longer-term maturity
bonds it purchases regularly from the market.
The small fine-tuning by the BOJ was enough to steepen the
yield curve significantly, unsettling a market that has become
so dependent on the BOJ's bond purchases designed as a part of
its extensive monetary easing programme.
The dollar index, a gauge of the greenback's strength
against a basket of key currencies, was down 0.3 percent.
The dollar traded little changed at 101.92 yen after
shedding 0.2 percent on Wednesday.
The euro was flat at $1.3592, taking a breather
following the previous session's 0.35 percent rise.
In commodities, Brent crude hovered near Wednesday's
nine-month closing high of $114.26 a barrel hit on persistent
worries over oil exports from war-torn Iraq, where Islamic
militants seized much of its northern region as Baghdad's forces
"The oil market remains in high alert, but is in a holding
pattern at this stage awaiting further developments in Iraq,"
said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets in
Platinum and palladium extended their winning
streak, with both trading near one-week highs as a miners'
strike in major producer South Africa looked set to continue.
Analysts saw the miners' strike curtailing the South African
rand's strength, which surged 1 percent against the
dollar on Wednesday on news the country's current account
deficit narrowed to levels last seen in 2012.
(Additional reporting by Ayai Tomisawa in Tokyo and Jacob
Gronholt-Pedersen in Singapore; Editing by Eric Meijer & Kim