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James Hyerczyk
Asia-Pacific Shares

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were up across the board early Friday as investors followed Wall Street’s lead. U.S. stocks rose late in the session on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that fiscal help from Congress and accelerated vaccine distribution has allowed the U.S. to recover faster than expected.

At 03:50 GMT, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index is trading 29210.82, up 480.94 or 1.67%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is trading 28249.34, up 349.73 or +1.25% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index is at 3036.42, up 28.09 or +0.93%.

China’s Shanghai Index closed at 3409.77, up 46.18 or +1.37%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index is trading 6826.60, up 36.00 or +0.53%.

“As we make substantial further progress toward our goals, we’ll gradually roll back the amount of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities we’ve bought,” Powell told NPR’s “Morning Edition” in a live interview. “We will very gradually, over time and with great transparency, when the economy has all but fully recovered, we will be pulling back the support that we provided during emergency times.”

Australia Shares rise on steady commodities, Wall Street Rebound

Australian shares climbed on Friday, lifted by miners and oil and gas explorers as commodity prices stabilized, while an overnight rebound in Wall Street on signs of economic progress also lent support, Reuters reported.

Miners led the gains after climbing nearly 1% as Chinese iron ore futures rose amid worries of supply shortages. Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group advanced 1.5% each.

Energy stocks climbed up to 1.1% as oil prices stabilized after a sharp drop overnight. Sector heavyweight Woodside Petroleum rose 2.4% while Santos gained more than 1%.

The financial sub-index rose 0.5%, lifted by embattled wealth manager AMP Ltd, which clawed back from previous session’s losses to climb 5%. AMP shares on track for best session since February 26 after the company reiterated that Francesco De Ferrari would remain as its chief executive officer.

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Japanese Shares Jump on Bargain Hunting, Tech Boost

Japanese shares jumped on Friday, led by a bounce back in tech shares, on bargain hunting after a sharp retreat in the benchmark Nikkei Index this week, while overnight Wall Street gains on economic recovery hopes also supported the sentiment, Reuters Reported.

Tech start-up investor SoftBank Group rose 1.73% and was the top contributor to Nikkei, while chip-related shares Tokyo Electron and Advantest jumped 1.7% and 3.29%, respectively.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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