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Asian Shares Advance On Fed Comments

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Asian stocks advanced on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve reaffirmed its commitment to easy monetary policies, saying that tapering would require more economic recovery from the pandemic.

Chinese shares rebounded after three days of declines as authorities stepped up efforts to calm frayed investor nerves after a market rout.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 50.13 points, or 1.5 percent, to settle at 3,411.72, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up 841.44 points, or 3.3 percent, to 26,315.32.

Japanese shares rose notably as the Fed hinted at progress on tapering talks but gave no timeline. The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 200.76 points, or 0.7 percent, to 27,782.42, while the broader Topix closed 0.4 percent higher at 1,927.43.

Heavyweight SoftBank Group advanced 4.1 percent amid reports that the company was selling its stake in ride-hailing company Uber.

Tech shares followed their U.S. peers higher, with Screen Holdings surging 5.8 percent and Advantest spiking 7.3 percent. Automaker Nissan Motor jumped 5.8 percent after upgrading its annual outlook.

Australian markets eked out modest gains, led by miners and tech stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 38.10 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,417.40 despite an extended lockdown of Sydney, and New South Wales recording its biggest daily rise in Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began. The broader All Ordinaries Index climbed 45.60 points, or 0.60 percent, to 7,695.20.

Fortescue Metals rallied 1.9 percent after it reported record iron ore shipments for the quarter ending June. Heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto gained 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, while Mineral Resources jumped 3.7 percent.

Gold miners also ended broadly higher as the precious metal edged up to its highest level in over a week. Regis Resources soared 5.7 percent and Northern Star Resources added 2 percent.

In the tech sector, Iress jumped 13.9 percent after rejecting two bids from private-equity firm EQT.

Seoul stocks ended higher for the third straight day on optimism for strong corporate earnings. The Kospi inched up 5.79 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 3,242.65.

New Zealand shares rallied, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index climbing 133.53 points, or 1.1 percent, to finish at 12,728.85. Mainfreight soared 4.6 percent and Ryman Healthcare jumped 3.9 percent after both firms hosted upbeat annual general meetings.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as investors reacted to a slew of corporate earnings updates and Fed Chair Jerome Powell's dovish presser.

Fed officials tried to strike a balance, discussing about how to go about scaling back bond buying when the time comes.

Powell said there was "more ground to make up" in the labor market to meet the "substantial further progress" threshold to taper bond purchases.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.7 percent after strong results from Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft, while the Dow shed 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 finished marginally lower.

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