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ASIA MARKETS: Asian Markets Rise As Fed Leaves Itself Wiggle Room, Hopes For Trade Talks Rekindled

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06/20/2019 | 02:02am EST

By Marketwatch and Associated Press

Shanghai Composite leads gains across the board

Asian markets gained Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged, but indicated it is ready to make ease monetary policy if needed.

The Fed said it will "closely monitor" the economy given increasing uncertainty about government policy, though it signaled it may not need to lower rates before 2020 . But Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the central bank is prepared to cut interest rates if necessary.

There was also encouraging news on the trade front, as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he plans to meet his Chinese counterpart ahead of the G-20 summit next week. "When actual negotiations begin again, I can't say at this point," Lighthizer said. "We're talking. We're going to meet." The U.S. and China broke off trade negotiations in early May and have not met since.

Leading the Asian region higher, the Shanghai Composite surged 2% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite advanced 1.7%.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.6% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.9%. South Korea's Kospi was up 0.2%, while Singapore's benchmark index jumped 0.9% and indexes in Taiwan and Indonesia were modestly up. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5%.

Among individual stocks, Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing rose in Tokyo trading, along with Sony and e-commerce company Rakuten . In Hong Kong, Geely Automobile , parent of Volvo Cars, gained after announcing a deal with Sweden's Zenuity to supply it with self-driving software (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-geely-autonomous-veoneer/chinas-geely-picks-swedish-software-firm-for-driverless-cars-idUSKCN1TK13R). China Life Insurance (601628.SH) and Tencent also rose. Samsung inched down in South Korea and Foxconn advanced in Taiwan. Rio Tinto sank in Australia, while Beach Energy gained.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BEACH ENERGY LIMITED -2.11% 2.32 End-of-day quote.76.21%
CHINA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY CO., LTD. -1.40% 34.6 End-of-day quote.72.09%
CHINA-SHANGHAI COMP 0.85% 2933.99 End-of-day quote.17.46%
FAST RETAILING CO., LTD. -1.39% 66920 End-of-day quote.23.70%
FOXCONN TECHNOLOGY CO LTD End-of-day quote.
GEELY AUTOMOBILE HOLDINGS LIMITED 0.13% 15.46 End-of-day quote.13.34%
HANG SENG -0.66% 26887.36 Real-time Quote.4.72%
KOSPI COMPOSITE INDEX -1.09% 2128.39 Real-time Quote.5.41%
NIKKEI 225 -0.62% 23148.57 Real-time Quote.16.43%
RAKUTEN, INC. 1.16% 956 End-of-day quote.34.08%
RIO TINTO PLC -2.52% 4104.5 Delayed Quote.12.99%
S&P/ASX 200 -1.35% 6722.4 Real-time Quote.20.32%
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO LTD End-of-day quote.
SONY CORPORATION -1.30% 6755 End-of-day quote.31.22%
TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED 2.00% 336.6 End-of-day quote.6.93%
TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY HOLDINGS, INCORPORATED -0.20% 488 End-of-day quote.-25.15%
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