Asian Markets Rebound As Japan Posts Growth And US Fed Signals Further Easing

   on May 17 2012 6:57 AM
Woman walks past stock quotation board outside brokerage in Tokyo
A woman walks past a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo February 14, 2012. The Bank of Japan surprised markets by loosening monetary policy further, boosting its asset buying and lending scheme to add more liquidity as it bowed to political pressure for bolder action to beat deflation and support the economy. REUTERS

Asian markets rose Thursday as the economic growth reported by Japan and possible additional monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve to spur growth of the US economy offset increasing concern over Greece leaving the euro zone.

Asian markets saw some stabilization after the heavy sell-off in previous sessions. South Korea's KOSPI rose 0.26 percent, or 4.71 points, to 1845.24. While Chinese Shanghai composite index climbed 1.39 percent or 32.69 points to 2378.89, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.31 percent, or 58.90 points, to 19200.93. India’s BSE SENSEX was up 0.30 percent, or 48.27 points, to 16078.36.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average climbed 0.86 percent, or 75.42 points, to 8876.59. Japanese market was up after it was reported that the country’s economy grew in the first three months of this year from the preceding quarter boosted by reconstruction activities in last year’s tsunami hit regions. According to government data released Thursday, Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1 percent in the first quarter compared to the last quarter of the previous year.

Another factor that pulled up Asian market sentiment was the report that the US Federal Reserve policymakers are in favor of more efforts to stimulate the country’s economy. According to the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s April 24-25 meeting released Wednesday in Washington, several policy makers were supporting the need to add to the current Federal support to boost the US economy if situation warranted.

Meanwhile with coalition talks being abandoned in Greece, it was decided that the new round of elections would be held on June 17. There are concerns that parties opposing austerity measures will gain majority in the re-election, leading to an eventual default on its debt obligations and a messy exit from the eurozone.

This has led to a flight of capital as depositors transfer their money from Greek banks to overseas markets. Also the European Central Bank said Wednesday that it has stopped lending to some Greek banks, leaving the Greek central bank to take over.

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