TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks jumped Wednesday after Wall Street was buoyed by the new head of the U.S. Federal Reserve vowing a continuation of low interest rates. Stronger Chinese trade figures also boosted markets.
Japan's Nikkei 225, the region's main index, gained 0.8 percent to 14,836.53. Japanese markets were closed Tuesday for a national holiday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1 percent to 22,181.41 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent to 1939.59. Markets in Southeast Asia and India also gained.
China's Shanghai Composite Index was slightly higher after the government reported faster growth in imports and exports for January, easing worries about slowing growth in the world's No. 2 economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 1.2 percent to 15,994.77 after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday she would continue the central bank's low-interest rate policies. It was the Dow's third triple-digit advance in four days.
Takuya Takahashi, strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. in Tokyo said Yellen's comments were the most important factor affecting market sentiment.
But worries about prospects for the Japanese economy, as well as the yen's weakness tapering off, were keeping the rise in check, he said.
"Basically, it's all about her comments. If anything, the rise is not as strong as it might have been," said Takahashi.
The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 19.91 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,819.75 and the Nasdaq composite rose 42.87 points, or 1 percent, to 4,191.04.
Yellen's remarks have worked to calm some of the jitters in global markets recently over concerns about slowing growth in China.
Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 36 cents to $100.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 12 cents to $99.94 on Tuesday.
In currency trading, the dollar cost 102.56 yen, up slightly from 102.52 late Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.3628 from $1.3630.
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