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Asian Markets Called Higher On Tuesday

The Asian stock markets are tipped to open higher on Tuesday, rebounding on upbeat commentary from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Fed chairman noted that the U.S. unemployment rate has declined faster than the Fed predicted but cautioned that the jobs market remains far from normal.

He also made assurances that the Fed' zero-interest rate policy and other support measures will help reduce unemployment over time by promoting economic growth.

Capping the upside, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed an unexpected drop in pending home sales in February.

The major U.S. averages closed firmly in positive territory on Monday, at or near their best levels of the day. The Dow jumped 160.90 points or 1.2 percent to finish at 13,241.63, while the NASDAQ soared 54.65 points or 1.8 percent to end at 3,122.57 and the S&P 500 surged 19.40 points or 1.4 percent to 1,416.51.

The major European markets also were up on Monday. While the German DAX Index rose by 1.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

The Asian markets were mostly lower on Monday as Taiwan plunged 1.34 percent, while Singapore fell 0.52 percent, Thailand lost 0.51 percent, South Korea's KOSPI shed 0.38 percent, Indonesia dropped 0.2 percent and Malaysia eased 0.18 percent. Hong Kong was flat, while Japan was up 0.1 percent and China added 0.05 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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