Asia stocks jump, Fed refrains from stimulus cut

BANGKOK (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to refrain from reducing its massive economic stimulus is having a positive impact on Asian stock markets.

Not even dour data out of Japan showing a swelling trade deficit could dampen the rally sparked by the Fed’s decision to keep in place its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, part of a program known as “quantitative easing.”

Investors had been bracing themselves for a slight reduction in monthly bond purchases. The Fed, however, announced no timetable for winding down the stimulus and said the U.S. still has not attained adequate levels of job and economic growth.

Markets in South Korea and mainland China were closed for public holidays but all other markets in the region gained ground.

Benchmark crude oil rose and was above $108 per barrel. The dollar gained against the yen but fell against the euro.

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