Asia Stocks Rise After Wall Street Soars
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Monday, January 21, 2019

Asia Stocks Rise After Wall Street Soars

By PAMELA SAMPSON / AP WRITER Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thai investor looks at electronic board displaying live market data at stock broker's office in central Bangkok. (Photo: Reuters)

BANGKOK—Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday, powered by the biggest gains of the year on Wall Street after the US Federal Reserve said it expects unemployment in the world's largest economy to keep falling.

Other good news from the US that drove markets higher included a retail sales report showing a gain of 1.1 percent last month. The government also revised its estimates higher for December and January.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 2.1 percent to 10,104.58, as the yen continued its retreat from record highs against the U.S. dollar.

South Korea's Kospi index climbed 1.5 percent to 2,054.25 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.2 percent to 21,592.02. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1 percent to 4,287.90. Benchmarks in Singapore, mainland China and Taiwan also rose.

Wall Street's rally began after government data showed improving retail sales and the Fed said it saw signs of an improving economy and expected the unemployment rate to keep falling. The market soared in the last hour after JPMorgan Chase announced a share buyback and raised its quarterly dividend.

The Dow finished at 13,177.68, its highest close since Dec. 31, 2007—putting the Dow within 1,000 points of its record, 14,164.53, set in October 2007.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 1.9 percent to 3,039.88—closing above 3,000 for the first time since December 2000. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed up 1.8 percent at 1,395.96, its highest level since June 5, 2008.

Benchmark oil for April delivery was down five cents to US $106.66 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 37 cents to finish at $106.71 per barrel.

In currency trading, the dollar rose to 83.17 yen from 83.08 yen late Tuesday in New York. The euro fell to $1.3060 from $1.3073.

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