SYDNEY: Asian share markets lagged on Thursday as U.S. stock futures nudged to another record high after the Federal Reserve underlined its commitment to keeping policy super loose even as the economy enjoys a rapid recovery.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat, and also little changed on the week. Japan's Nikkei eased 0.3% and Chinese blue chips 0.1% , with trading very subdued.
The outperformance of the U.S. economy helped S&P 500 futures add 0.3% to a new peak, while Nasdaq futures gained 0.4%. EUROSTOXX 50 futures firmed 0.2% and FTSE futures 0.3%.
Minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting showed members felt the economy was still far short of target and were in no rush to scale back their $120 billion a month of bond buying.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at an IMF event later on Thursday and is likely to reiterate the dovish outlook.