| GEO Business|
Asian shares rise as Japan eases monetary policy
| Updated at: 1046 PST, Monday, August 30, 2010|
TOKYO: Asian stocks markets advanced Monday, with Japan's benchmark jumping more than 3 percent after the central bank called an emergency policy board meeting.
The Nikkei 225 stock average surged 274.33 points, or 3.1 percent, to 9,265.39 in the morning session on news of the meeting. The Bank of Japan later announced it would ease monetary policy by expanding a low-interest loan program for financial institutions to 30 trillion yen ($355 billion) from 20 trillion yen.
The central bank has been under growing political pressure to take action on the strong yen, which is undermining a faltering economic recovery.
The dollar rose against the yen and triggered buying in exporter stocks. Honda Motor Co. rose 3.5 percent, and Canon Inc. added 3.7 percent.
Later in the day, Prime Minister Naoto Kan is also expected to announce a framework for additional stimulus measures.
Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi rose 1.5 percent to 1,755.29 and the Shanghai Composite index added 1.5 percent to 2,648.57. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.6 percent to 4,439.10 as commodity stocks posted healthy gains. Australian miner Rio Tinto Ltd. was up 2.5 percent.
Sentiment around the region was also bolstered by big gains in New York Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.7 percent to close at 10,150.65 after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank was ready to step in if the U.S. economy showed further signs of weakening.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 1.7 percent to 1,064.59, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 1.6 percent, to 2,153.63.
In currencies, the dollar rose to 85.40 yen from 85.21 yen late Friday. The euro fell to $1.2744 from $1.2761.
Benchmark crude for October delivery was up 13 cents at $75.30 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $1.81 to settle at $75.17 per barrel on Friday.