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Asia ramps up ahead of Powell’s speech, China Tech adds support

#Asia #ramps #ahead #Powells #speech #China #Tech #adds #support

Asian markets rose on Friday after Wall Street rallied ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who is expected to reaffirm his plan to hike interest rates to fight inflation.

Adding to the strong buying sentiment were signs of progress in talks between US and Chinese regulators that could see tech titans like Alibaba and avoid delisting from New York.

Global equities have faltered in recent weeks after a nearly two-month rally from their June lows as a number of Fed officials lined up to reiterate their commitment to tightening monetary policy amid some encouraging economic data.

All eyes are now on Powell’s comments later Friday at the annual symposium of top bankers and chief financial officers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Most expect him to confirm more rate hikes are on the way as officials try to bring inflation down from painful highs not seen in four decades.

Analysts said that although a number of board members took office this week, the hawkish bias is largely burned into market prices.

The key question now is how much the bank will tighten over the coming months, with a half-point hike expected next month after two three-quarters hikes in June and July.

Wall Street’s three main indexes ended well on Thursday, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 up more than a percent.

And Asia followed, with Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Wellington all doing well.

– US-China tech push –

Hong Kong and Shanghai were among the top performers, with tech companies rising on news that China-US regulation talks are progressing.

More than 200 Chinese companies have been embroiled in a wide-ranging dispute between the superpowers and threatened by New York for months.

However, Beijing reportedly on Thursday urged top accounting firms to prepare to bring audit papers from US-listed companies to Hong Kong for review by US officials.

US lawmakers have set a 2024 deadline for removing companies that don’t comply with listing rules, and the latest move could be a big step towards avoiding that.

“To see that both sides are communicating is a good thing,” said EFG Asset Management’s Daisy Li.

“Nevertheless, we have to see whether the US side is actually willing to accept the disclosure. If this can be resolved, it could help reduce some of the Chinese market’s geopolitical risk premium.”

The reports came as China announced plans to boost its flagging economy by pumping in tens of billions of dollars to boost lending, consumption and investment.

But analysts have warned that while the cash injection will be welcome, investors are more interested in an easing of the zero-Covid policy that has locked down major cities and ailing industries.

– Key figures at 0230 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: up 0.9 percent at 28,745.42 (breakthrough)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: up 0.7 percent at 20,100.06

Shanghai — Composite: up 0.5 percent to 3,260.75

Euro/Dollar: UP at 0.9970 from 0.9968 Thursday

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.1823 from $1.1826

Euro/pound: up to 84.33p from 84.28p

Dollar/yen: up at 136.76 yen from 136.36 yen

West Texas Intermediate: up 1.0 percent to $93.41 a barrel

North Sea Brent crude: up 1.0 percent to $100.34

New York – Dow: up nearly 1.0 percent at 33,291.78 (close)

London – FTSE 100: up 0.1 percent at 7,479.74 (close)

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#Asia #ramps #ahead #Powells #speech #China #Tech #adds #support

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