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  • By The Financial District

Asian Stocks Track Wall Street Gains

In early trading on Friday, Asian markets tracked overnight Wall Street advances as concerns about an economic slowdown abated and sterling began to recoup recent losses following British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to resign, Sam Byford reported for Reuters.

Photo Insert: On optimistic signals from Federal Reserve policymakers, all three major US indices rose overnight.

In morning trade, Japan's Nikkei index was up 1.23 percent at 26,817.24, its highest level since June 29. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific equities outside Japan rose 0.8 percent to its highest level in a week, while South Korea's KOSPI index rose 1.18 percent to establish a five-month high.

On optimistic signals from Federal Reserve policymakers, all three major US indices rose overnight. Governor Christopher Waller claimed recession fears were "overblown," while St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard stated the economy had a "good chance" of a soft landing.

Waller predicted that the Fed would raise interest rates by 75 basis points in July and 50 basis points in September to combat inflation. He did, however, say that "if inflation just doesn't seem to be coming down, we have to do more," allowing for further 25-basis-point hikes.

This brought some solace to stock markets following recent major sell-offs triggered by fears that global central banks may force economies into recession in order to rein in runaway inflation.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

So far this year, the Asian regional benchmark is down 16%. The release of US non-farm payrolls data later in the day will provide the most recent gauge of the health of the US economy. The general estimate is that 268,000 jobs were added in May.

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