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Asian Shares Rise As Fed Signals More Dovish Outlook

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Asian stocks moved broadly higher on Thursday as investors cheered a dovish Federal Reserve statement and looked forward to the G20 summit at the end of the month for progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped 69.32 points or 2.4 percent to 2,987.12 amid mounting hopes for the U.S.-China meeting. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 348.29 points or 1.2 percent to 28,550.43.

Japanese stocks hit fresh six-week highs despite a stronger yen weighing on exporters. The Nikkei 225 Index closed up 128.99 points or 0.6 percent at 21,462.86 after soaring 1.7 percent the previous day.

The broader Topix closed 0.3 percent higher at 1,559.90 as the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy steady, as widely expected, but hinted at sustained support for easy monetary policy amid increased global risks.

Realty stocks witnessed buying, with Mitsubishi Estate climbing 1.5 percent and Mitsui Fudosan rising 1 percent. Pharmaceutical company Iwaki & Co. soared 4 percent after raising its net profit forecast.

On the other hand, Honda Motor and Mazda Motor fell around 2 percent as the dollar hit its lowest level against the yen since January 3rd.

Australian markets advanced even as mining stocks fell on concerns about increased iron ore supply. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 39.30 points or 0.6 percent to 6,687.40, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 39.40 points or 0.6 percent at 6,767.90.

The big four banks rose between 0.3 percent and 0.7 percent amid expectations the Fed will cut interest rates next month in the wake of increased external and domestic economic risks.

Meanwhile, mining stocks fell on the day, with Rio Tinto plunging 4 percent after downgrading its iron ore guidance once again.

Fuel retailer Caltex Australia slumped 13.3 percent after a warning that its first-half profit will more than halve from last year. Rival Viva Energy Group plummeted 8 percent.

Seoul stocks ended a tad higher on hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping can make progress on easing trade tensions at the G20 summit in Japan next week.

The Kospi inched up 6.51 points or 0.3 percent to 2,131.29. LG Display shares jumped 7 percent on reports the company shipped the most automotive displays in the first quarter.

New Zealand shares fell slightly on diminished rate cut hopes after data showed the country's economy grew in line with forecasts in the first three months. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index ended down 14.07 points or 0.1 percent to 10,290.76, dragged down by utilities and consumer stocks.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose modestly after the Fed suggested the next move for rates is likely to be lower to sustain the economic expansion.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to approach a record high, while the Dow inched up 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.4 percent.

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