Stock markets, particularly in the U.S., have had a bumper month following a bout of jitters prompted by uncertainty over when the Fed will start reducing its monetary stimulus.
The Fed has been buying $85 billion of financial assets a month in the hope of reducing long-term borrowing rates and shore up the U.S. economy. Bernanke has said that the so-called tapering will begin when a number of economic indicators point to a clear recovery path. The prospect that it may remain for longer has been greeted positively by investors who have grown used to the stimulus money floating around markets.
"Despite the weakness in stocks this morning, global equities are still on track to post a fourth week of gains, helping to underpin the generally bullish feeling in the market of late," said David White, a trader at Spreadex.
Earlier in Asia, markets closed mostly lower following the tech reports in the U.S. and amid worries over the Chinese and Japanese economies, the world's number 2 and 3.
Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 1.5 percent to 14,589.91 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added just 0.1 percent to 21,362.42. Seoul's Kospi wavered between gains and losses, finishing 0.2 percent down at 1,871.41. China's Shanghai Composite index fell 1.5 percent to 1,992.65.
In currency markets, trading was steady with the euro up 0.26 percent at $1.3139 while the dollar was down 0.2 percent at 100.32 yen.
Meanwhile in the oil markets, the price of benchmark New York crude was 32 cents lower at $107.48 a barrel.
Cerojano contributed from Manila, Philippines.