Asia markets jump on Wall Street rally

Central bank signals rate cut

By Sherisse Pham, CNN Business
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The Hang Seng stock market in Hong Kong.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Asia stocks jumped Wednesday, following Wall Street's rally as the US central bank signaled a rate cut and worries about the escalating trade war took a backseat.

Tokyo's Nikkei led the charge, rising 1.9% in morning trade. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite gained around 0.5%.

Driving the market upswing were comments from US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who said that the central bank was closely monitoring developments on the trade front.

"As always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion," he said Tuesday at a monetary policy conference in Chicago.

The Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 recorded their best days since January 4 following Powell's comments.

Worries about trade wars on multiple fronts and fears of a slowing Chinese economy have rattled investors of late.

President Xi Jinping tried to tamp down macroeconomic concerns during a state visit to Russia on Tuesday, telling reporters that China's economy is stable, healthy and can support sustainable development, according to state news agency Xinhua.

But there is still uncertainty over how the United States will resolve escalating trade wars with China and Mexico, two of the country's biggest trading partners.

Tit-for-tat punitive measures from the United States and China have sent markets on a roller coaster for months.

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