Wednesday, August 24, 2011

ASIA-Shares to rise on U.S. stimulus hopes

WELLINGTON: Asian stocks look set for solid gains on Wednesday as global markets were spurred by speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve will take further measures to stimulate the world's biggest economy.

In the latest round of disappointing news on the U.S. economy, factory output in the U.S. central Atlantic region contracted again in August and new home sales fell to a five-month low in July.

The data seemed to bolster speculation that Fed chairman Ben Bernanke will point to more support for the struggling economy in a speech later this week.

Wall Street bounded higher, with the main indexes rising between 3 percent and 4.3 percent, led by TECHNOLOGY [] and growth stocks.

Asian stocks listed on Wall Street rose 3.2 percent, world stocks, as measured by the MSCI world equity index, rose 2.4 percent, and emerging markets stocks were up 2.04 percent.

British shares rose 0.7 percent while European shares gained 0.8 percent.

The U.S. dollar fell on the Fed speculation, with the New Zealand and Australian dollars posting further solid gains. Oil prices rose but gold retreated from the record highs seen earlier in the week.

Japanese markets are seen rising for second straight day, despite a strong yen and political upheaval. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago100 points above the last closing level in Osaka.

Australian stocks are likely to follow the rising tide with share price index futures at a 50.6 point premium to the close of the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index. ' Reuters

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