February 27, 2024

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Asian shares mostly rise as markets digest Fed moves | National News

2 min read

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares mostly rose Friday, as investors digested the latest message from the U.S. Federal Reserve on raising short-term interest rates by late 2023.

Japan’s benchmark lost earlier gains and inched down less than 0.1% in afternoon trading to 29,009.75. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.2% higher to 3,272.42. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1% to 7,368.90. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 0.7% to 28,769.94, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.1% to 3,530.32.

The Bank of Japan kept its ultra-lax monetary policy intact, as investors had expected. Wrapping up a two-day meeting, the central bank also extended by six months, until March 2022, a lending program to help companies weather the pandemic.

“Japan’s economy has picked up as a trend, although it has remained in a severe situation due to the impact of COVID-19 at home and abroad,” the Bank of Japan said in a statement.

The Fed’s comments came Wednesday, and global markets had already initially reacted Thursday. But comments about the possibility of slowing the central bank’s bond-buying program are rippling through markets. Such support has been a key reason for the stock market’s resurgence to records.

The S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1% to 4,221.86 after meandering from a 0.2% gain to a 0.7% loss. Most of the stocks in the index and across Wall Street were lower, but gains for Apple, Microsoft and a few other tech heavyweights helped offset the losses.

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