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Asian stocks on the rise after Wall Street boost

Asian stocks rose early Monday, following a record-smashing lead from Wall Street. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was up 1.03 percent, while Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.09 percent

Friday’s gains on Wall Street, where the broad-based S&P 500 piled on more than 0.9 percent to finish at 4,712.02, eclipsing a record from last month and came despite the consumer price index jumping 6.8 percent in November.

Such a rise in inflation would suggest a sooner-rather-than-later tapering in the US Federal Reserve’s ultra-loose monetary policy, a change markets have been nervously awaiting for months.

Fed chair Jerome Powell had already signalled plans to accelerate the tapering of stimulus payments. Many analysts expect the central bank to hike interest rates at least twice in 2022.

Powell will update the markets this week following a two-day policy meeting.

But traders took the data in stride, in part because inflation was largely expected.

In Asia Monday, Singapore, Seoul and Taipei and Wellington were marginally up. Shanghai also rose.

Read also: Stocks skyrocket in Chinese post-holiday trading

In Tokyo, “the market is looking at the Bank of Japan’s Tankan” quarterly business survey, released 10 minutes before the opening bell, senior market analyst Toshiyuki Kanayama of Monex said.

The latest survey showed Japan’s major manufacturers remain cautious about the economy’s trajectory, with business sentiment flat for the quarter as concerns about the pandemic linger.

Some investors may take a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the Fed meeting, analysts added.

“Global equities had a solid run last week and we’ll see if the goodwill lasts into what is a behemoth when it comes to event risk,” Chris Weston, head of research with Pepperstone Financial, wrote in a note.

The Fed, along with the latest on the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, should dictate sentiment, he added.

Read more about the issue: Oil, stocks plummet in Asia and Europe as new variant emerges

Key figures around 0210 GMT

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.02 percent at 28,727.19

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 1.36 percent at 24,321.99

Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.10 percent at 3,706.55

New York – Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 35,970.99 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.4 percent at 7,291.78 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1304 from $1.1317

Pound/dollar: UP at 1.3259 from $1.3225

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.26 from 85.29 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 113.56 from 113.37 yen

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.89 percent at $72.56 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.82 percent at $75.97 per barrel

Bloomberg News contributed to this report

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