Wed, 06 Dec 2023

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks across Asia generally rose on Thursday following rallies on U.S. markets overnight.

Confidence that the hard line taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve in hiking official interest rates may be softening has driven demand for stocks and a sell-off in the U.S. dollar.

"In all, it is clear from the minutes that FOMC participants are determined to further raise the policy rate in the face of a very tight labour market and unacceptably high inflation," analysts at Barclays said in a note Thursday.

"However, the minutes also reveal an emerging divergence of views among members about the peak rate and uncertainty about the peak rate."

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 267.35 points or 0.95 percent to 28,383.09.

The Australian All Ordinaries increased 9.80 points or 0.13 percent to 7,432.20.

South Korea's Kospi Composite added 21.83 points or 0.95 percent to 28,383.09.

In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 was flat, edging down 2.09 points or 0.02 percent to 11,321.71.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 137.09 points or 0.78 percent to 17,660.90.

China's Shanghai Composite was off 7.60 points or 0.25 percent to 3,089.31.

Foreign currencies reached lofty heights on Thursday on the back of the FOMC minutes. The euro swelled to 1.0432 by the Sydney close. The British pound jumped to 1.2087. The Japanese yen strengthened to 138.93. The Swiss franc was sharply higher at 0.9403.

The Canadian dollar gained to 1.3350. The Australian dollar appreciated to 0.6751. The New Zealand dollar was in demand at 0.6253.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite surged 110.91 points or 0.99 percent to 11,285.32.

The Standard and Poor's 500 appreciated 23.68 points or 0.59 percent to 4,027.26.

The Dow Jones industrials lagged, lifting 95.96 points or 0.28 percent to 34,19406.

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