Stocks rise ahead of anticipated US stimulus

Stocks rise ahead of anticipated US stimulus

Asian stock markets were mostly higher early today as investors weighed the possibility that more help for the US economy from the Federal Reserve might be on the way.

Stocks got a boost from the release of minutes the last major meeting of the Fed, which showed members of its Open Market Committee favouring additional action to help the US economic recovery unless substantial strengthening occurs.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.9% to 20,057.10 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.3% to 1,941.03.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.6% to 4,402.50. Japan's Nikkei 225 index was marginally down at 9,127.65.

Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and mainland China also rose.

On Wall Street, stocks climbed back from lows as investors took comfort from the Fed's signals.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.2% to close at 13,172.76. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose marginally to 1,413.49. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.2%, to 3,073.67.

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