Thursday, December 18, 2014   

Asia shares rise
(02-11 10:49)

Asia's markets edged up Tuesday, with investors sitting on the sidelines as they await the first testimony of the Federal Reserve's new head to find out what her plans are for its stimulus program.
Janet Yellen, who took over as the bank's chair at the start of the month, will testify to a House of Representatives committee later in the day on the state of the economy and the course of monetary policy.
Hong Kong rose 0.67 percent, Sydney added 0.47 percent, and Seoul was 0.10 percent higher but Shanghai was 0.16 percent lower after surging almost two percent Monday.
Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.
The latest gains indicate traders' nerves may have settled after the turmoil seen earlier February after the Fed said it would further reduce its bond-buying scheme and US and Chinese manufacturing data came in below forecast.
Markets brushed off a second straight set of poor jobs data Friday, with some blaming severe winter weather for the weak growth, while also pointing to positive news such as a rise in labour force participation.
Yellen's testimony will be pored over by analysts to see if she gives any indication that the central bank will slow down its stimulus tapering. In December the Fed said it would cut its monthly purchases by US$10 billion to US$65 billion. It then announced a similar move this month, sending markets spinning. --AFP
Other Business breaking news:
Hang Seng up by lunch (1 hr 14 mins ago)
Fed says can be 'patient' on rate rise (1 hr 37 mins ago)
China's home prices continue to cool, declines narrowing (1 hr 39 mins ago)
Avon beauty firm pays US$138m to settle China bribe probe (2 hrs 28 mins ago)
Nikkei jumps by break (2 hrs 32 mins ago)
Baidu invests in controversial taxi app Uber (12-17 19:00)
UK unemployment rate steady at 6.0% (12-17 18:37)
Russian ruble recovers losses (12-17 18:29)
European stocks slide at open (12-17 18:06)
Hang Seng ends lower, Shanghai gains (12-17 17:57)

More breaking news >>

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