Asia shares rally as Fed nominee backs stimulus

Asia shares rally as Fed nominee backs stimulus

HONG KONG - Asian markets rallied for a second day Friday after the woman tipped to take over as Federal Reserve chief indicated she would maintain its stimulus programme for as long as needed.

The dollar was also at two-month highs above 100 yen, helped by weak growth data out of Japan and the eurozone.

Tokyo jumped 1.95 per cent, or 289.51 points, to a six-month high of 15,165.92, while Sydney added 0.86 per cent, or 43.6 points, to end at 5,401.7 and Seoul put on 1.94 per cent, or 38.08 points, to close at 2,005.64.

Shanghai surged 1.68 per cent, or 35.32 points, to 2,135.83 on speculation that Beijing will announce a plan to revamp the country's vast state sector.

The index had tumbled earlier this week after a much-anticipated reform plan by China's leaders lacked any detail.

Hong Kong was 1.69 per cent higher, adding 383.00 points, at 23,032.15. Mumbai was closed for a public holiday.

Janet Yellen told her Senate hearing Thursday she would not consider ending the Fed's bond-buying scheme as long as growth remained tepid and unemployment elevated.

"I consider it imperative to do what we can to promote a very strong recovery," Yellen, President Barack Obama's pick to lead the Fed, told the Senate Banking Committee.

The news sent Wall Street into another rally. The Dow climbed 0.35 per cent while the S&P 500 rose 0.48 per cent, both hitting record highs again. The Nasdaq added 0.18 per cent.

Global shares had climbed on Thursday after the release of Yellen's prepared statements that highlighted her support for the scheme.

She gave no hint of when she would wind down the US$85 billion-a-month scheme, saying - like current chairman Ben Bernanke - everything was data-driven and that current data suggested the economy still required Fed support.

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