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Asia Tracks Wall St. Gains

Hong Kong led Asia-Pacific stocks higher on Friday as markets tracked Wall Street gains, with renewed hopes for rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve bolstering market sentiment.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index regained 155.13 points, or 0.3%, to 38,229.11.

Meanwhile, Japan’s overall household spending in March fell 1.2% year on year, less than the 2.4% expected by a Reuters poll of economists.
However, on a month-on-month basis, household spending rose 1.2%, compared with estimates of a 0.3% drop.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index barreled ahead 425.87 points or 2.3%, 18,963.68.

The Hang Seng index hit its highest level in 10 months, up 2.32% after Bloomberg reported regulators were considering a proposal to exempt individual investors from paying taxes on dividends earned from Hong Kong stocks bought via Stock Connect.

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 eked up 1.72 points, or 0.1%, to 3,666.28, rising to hit its highest level since October 2023

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index prospered 24.75 points, or 0.8%, to 3,290.70.

In Korea, the Kospi index recovered 15.49 points, or 0.6%, to 2,727.63.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index jumped 148.07 points, or 0.7%, to 20,708.84.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 index restocked 8.59 points, or 0.1%, to 11,755.17.

In Australia, the ASX 200 hiked 27.33 points, or 0.4%, to 7,748.96.