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September 20, 2017

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Asian markets rise on hopes of fresh growth

HONG KONG--Asian markets rose on Wednesday, with Tokyo rebounding from the previous day's losses as dealers welcomed the Bank of Japan's latest stimulus push.

Trade was thin, with Wall Street closed for a second day as Superstorm Sandy hit New York. Investors were also awaiting the release of key data, including on Chinese manufacturing and U.S. jobs.

Tokyo rose 0.98 percent, or 86.31 points, to 8,928.29, Sydney gained 0.70 percent, or 31.3 points, to close at 4,517.0 and Seoul was 0.66 percent higher, adding 12.48 points to 1,912.06.

Hong Kong rose 1 percent, or 213.24 points, to 21,641.82, while Shanghai closed up 0.32 percent, or 6.53 points, at 2,068.88.

Just before the Nikkei closed on Tuesday the Bank of Japan (BOJ) said it would extend its monetary easing scheme by 11 trillion yen (US$138 billion) — following a 10 trillion yen injection last month — as it tries to bolster growth.

It also said it would provide "unlimited" loans to commercial banks in a bid to spur their lending to businesses and households, while issuing a rare joint statement with the government vowing efforts to stem deflation.

The market's initial reaction to the news, which came with a reduced economic growth forecast for the fiscal year by the BOJ, saw shares decline by the end of the day Tuesday.

However, Hideyuki Ishiguro, supervisor at the investment strategy department at Okasan Securities, said Wednesday: "The joint statement by the BOJ and the government was key, as was the new lending facility.

"An expansion of 10 trillion yen or more two months in a row suggests the bank's easing stance has been strengthening."

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