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Japan’s Nikkei 225 rises 1% as Asia-Pacific stocks rise


SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Wednesday morning trade as investors watch for market reaction to comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome PowellOn his resolve to raise rates till inflation comes down.

It Nikkei 225Japan saw a 1% increase in shares of conglomerates SoftBank Group jumped 2.77%. Topix Index traded at 0.86% more.

Government data from Wednesday showed that Japan’s economy shrank by 1% in January-March on an annualized basis, compared with the prior quarter. According to Reuters, this was lower than the 1.8% decline predicted by a poll.

South Korea KospThe i index rose by 0.8%. Australian stocks also experienced gains. S&P/ASX 200It jumped 0.64%

MSCI’s Asia-Pacific share index outside Japan was 0.4% lower.

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Jerome Powell, the Chair of U.S. Fed said that he would support interest rate hikes until prices fall back to a healthy level. The earlier in May announcement was made by the U.S. central bank raised rates by half a percentage point —its largest hike in two decades — as it looks to fight inflation.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 jumped 2.02% to 4,088.85 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2.76% to 11,984.52. Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 431.17 point, or 1.34%, towards 32,654.59.

Oil and Currencies

It U.S. dollar indexAfter a decline in levels from 104,, which measures the greenback’s value against a basket its peers, stood at 103.323.

It Japanese yenTraded at 129.39 dollars, holding above the 129.9 level for the majority of the week. The Australian dollarChanged hands at $0.7031. That’s higher than the $0.70 levels seen earlier in week.

The morning Asia trading hour saw oil prices rise, with benchmarks internationally. Brent crude futuresBarrel price increases by 1.14% to $113.21 U.S. crude futuresThe average barrel price rose 1.46%, to $114.04