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Followed by Bank of England rate cuts, Asia shares rise

by Jonathan Adams

Driven by the Bank of England’s aggressive stimulus measures, Asian shares rose Friday, though traders were wary about the strength of U.S. jobs data due later in the day.

The Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.3%, with Australia’s S&P ASX/200 trading 0.4% higher. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.7%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.3%.

The Bank of England on Thursday cut its benchmark interest rate to 0.25% from 0.5%, the lowest figure during its 322-year existence, and expects to cut the rate further in the coming months. The central bank also revived a U.K. government bond-buying program, also known as quantitative easing, that has been on pause since 2012.

Timothy Graf, head of macro strategy at State Street Global Markets EMEA said, “Surprising the market was always going to be a tall order”. He added, “But it looks like the Bank of England has done just that.”

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