Asia stocks rise on hopes of Fed action on economyBy Pamela Sampson
BANGKOK — Asian stock markets rose Thursday, underpinned by expectations the Federal Reserve will announce new measures to stimulate the U.S. economy.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.5 percent at 9,001.39 — surpassing 9,000 for the first time since Aug. 30. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.1 percent to 1,952.22 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.2 percent to 20,105.50. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.3 percent to 4,347.
Expectations that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will conclude a two-day policy meeting Thursday by announcing another round of bond-buying known as quantitative easing gave stocks a shot in the arm.
But analysts cautioned against expecting too much.
“There is risk of disappointment in case the Fed surprises by not easing policy as much as the market expects,” said Stan Shamu of IG Markets in Melbourne, Australia in an email commentary.
Stock markets rose Wednesday after the highest court in Germany cleared the way for the country to participate in a $640 billion European rescue fund that will lend money to struggling countries to keep them solvent.
The decision removed some uncertainty about Europe’s efforts to solve its debt crisis. One flash point that remains is Greece, which still must convince creditors that it deserves more bailout money.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.1 percent to close at 13,333.35.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.2 percent to 1,436.56. The Nasdaq composite index increased 0.3 percent to 3,114.31
Benchmark oil was up 5 cents to $97.06 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 16 cents to end at $97.01 per barrel on the Nymex on Wednesday.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.2913 from $1.2894. The dollar fell to 77.75 yen from 77.87 yen.
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