Global Markets: Asian shares rise, cautious before Fed, US data
The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.7 percent to snap a four-day losing streak, led by a 1.1 percent jump in Australian shares to a fresh 21-month high on gains in financial shares.
South Korean shares, which slumped to an 8-week low on Monday, rebounded 0.8 percent.
Japan's Nikkei stock average reversed earlier declines and rose 0.6 percent, buoyed by optimism over earnings of major banks. It briefly touched a fresh 32-month high above 11,000 on Monday.
The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index eased slightly on Monday after an eight-day winning run but held above 1,500 points, after closing above that level on Friday for the first time in more than five years.
Risk appetite has been improving overall with U.S. earnings generally solid. A rise in a gauge of planned U.S. business spending in December added to a recent run of positive global economic data, along with signs of easing financial stress in the euro zone. Euro zone blue chips touched fresh 18-month peaks on Monday.
More solid U.S. growth indicators would, however, fuel speculation the Fed may consider pulling back on aggressive easing stimulus. The Fed ends a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday. The first estimate of U.S. fourth-quarter gross domestic product also will be released on Wednesday,
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