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Asia: Markets make headway ahead of Fed decision

Asian markets settled in the blue on Wednesday with shares in Tokyo rising on the back of strong exports while the Hang Seng closed broadly higher ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s decision.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed up 309 points or 2.02% at 15,587 while the broader Topix settled up 18 points at 1,250. The Hang Seng added 74 points or 0.32% at 23,143.

Investors cheered government data that said Japan’s exports rose more than expected. The nation’s exports rose for a ninth consecutive month in November, as the weaker yen drove strong demand for car shipments to the US and China.

Exports surged 18.4% last month, a touch above most estimates but down slightly from the 18.6% increase in October, data from the Ministry of Finance showed.

Sentiment was also boosted by expectations that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will outline a new growth strategy on Thursday.

Stocks on the move included Toyota Motor, which rose 1.6%, Renesas bulked up 2.1% while TDK climbed 3.3%.

Real estate stocks were in demand with shares of Mitsubishi Estate increasing 3.5% while Sumitomo Realty & Development advanced 2% in Tokyo.

In Hong Kong, financial and property stocks spearheaded gains on Wednesday. Bank of Communications rose 1% as did insurance firm China Life.

China Overseas added 0.22% and China Resource Land increased 0.81%.


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