Global Markets: Asian shares gain on improving sentiment, G20 eyed
The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan extended gains, rising 0.6 percent as its materials sector outperformed with a 1.4 percent increase partly on a jump in shares of top miners ahead of earnings news from Rio Tinto.
Australian shares rose 0.6 percent, hitting their highest since September 2008, as a strong earnings season and receding fears about European and U.S. debt woes bolstered investor sentiment.
South Korean shares rose 0.4 percent after hitting a three-week closing high and logging their biggest daily percentage gain since Jan. 2 on Wednesday when investors cheered a pause in the yen's decline.
"There is little change seen...the index saw a steep gain yesterday, and with the G20 meeting coming later this week the main board is not likely to move drastically in one direction until next week, said Kim Young-il, an analyst at Daishin Securities, of South Korean equities.
A pause in the yen's recovery affected Japanese equities positively on Thursday, with the Nikkei average advancing 0.6 percent after Wednesday's 1 percent slump when the firming yen prompted investors to take profits on exporters.
The Bank of Korea held interest rates steady for a fourth straight month on Thursday as expected, as global economies show signs of improvement and domestic inflation remains low. But the decision was not unanimous, its governor
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