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Asia stocks rise after Fed announces plans to start tapering bond purchases

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Thursday morning trade following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement that it will start tapering the pace of its bond purchases later in November.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 1.06% in early trade as shares of Fast Retailing jumped more than 2%. The Topix index advanced 0.71%. South Korea’s Kospi also surged 1.09%.

Australian stocks rose in morning trade as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.3% higher.

Markets in Singapore, Malaysia and India are closed on Thursday for a holiday.

Fed announces tapering plans

The Fed announced Wednesday it will begin reducing the pace of monthly bond purchases later this month. The move was in line with market expectations following a series of earlier signals from the U.S. central bank that it would begin winding down a program that accelerated in March 2020 as a response to the Covid pandemic.

The major indexes on Wall Street climbed to new records on Wednesday following the Fed announcement, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 104.95 points to 36,157.58 while the S&P 500 advanced 0.65% to 4,660.57. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.04% to 15,811.58.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.844 after recently falling from levels above 94.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.06 per dollar, weaker than levels below 113.6 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.746, following its plunge from above $0.752 earlier in the trading week.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures lower by 0.71% at $81.42 per barrel. U.S. crude futures down 0.74% at $80.26 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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