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Asian stocks end week on high note
December 28, 2013, 5:49 am

Asian stocks, including those in China, rallied on positive US data [Getty Images]

Asian stocks, including those in China, rallied on positive US data [Getty Images]

Asian markets have continued edging upward on positive news about the US economy and continued bullish trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Japan’s Nikkei index registered at a six-week high Friday on reports that the central bank would continue its stimulus programme and devaluaing the yen.; it rose 0.03 percent.

But Chinese stocks performed the best on US economic indicators on Friday: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.27 per cent while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.36 per cent.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi index grew 0. 2 per cent while Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.5 per cent, and Taiwan’s Taiex Index gained 0.6 per cent.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 performed resiliently since the end of the second quarter and surged following the Federal Reserve’s moderate $10 billion tapering of its stimulus programme in early December.

With only two trading days left in the year, both indices have hit the best record-breaking streak since 1996 and 1997, respectively.

Last week, the IMF said it was revising upward its assessment of the US economy’s performance in 2013 and forecasts for 2014. Statistic from the Department of Labour showed that fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the third week of December.

Citing better than expected economic indicators and the fall of the unemployment rate to 7 per cent, the US Federal Reserve last week decided to scale back its quantitative easing program by $10 billion.

“In light of the cumulative progress toward maximum employment and the improvement in the outlook for labour market conditions, the Committee decided to modestly reduce the pace of its asset purchases,” the Fed’s policy-making Open Market Committee (FOMC) said in a statement.

Its monthly bond-buying programme will now be reduced from $85 billion to $75 billion.

Source: Agencies