Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Asian markets rise on Fed rate cut

Asian stocks belled the day on a high note on Wednesday (Mar. 19, 2008) following the U.S. bank earnings and a Federal Reserve interest-rate cut, reducing concerns about financial crises.

In an effort to save the economy from recession, the US Federal Reserve on Tuesday decided to lower its target for the federal funds rate by 75 basis points to 2.25%. The rate cut however stood below the market expectation of 100 basis points reduction.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 420.41 points, or 3.51%, at 12,392.66. The NASDAQ composite index rose 91.25 points, or 4.19%, to 2,268.26.

Sony surged the most in five months in Tokyo after the dollar strengthened against the yen, increasing the value of Japanese exporters.

Japanese benchmark index Nikkei advanced 328.57 points, or 2.75%, to trade at 12,292.73.

Hong Kong`s index Hang Seng climbed 592.55 points, or 2.77%, to trade at 21,977.16.

China`s Shanghai Composite rose 53.38 points, or 1.45%, to trade at 3,722.28.

Taiwan`s Taiex index rose 164.44 points, or 2.04%, to trade at 8,222.26.

South Korea`s KOSPI advanced 39.60 points, or 2.49%, to trade at 1,628.35.

Singapore`s Straits Times rose 65.89 points, or 2.33%, to trade at 2,899.47. (8.20 a.m., IST)

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