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Asian shares gain after solid U.S. data, focus on virus


Added 02-05-20 08:03:07pm EST - “Asian stocks edged up on Thursday, a day after U.S. S&P 500 hit a record peak fo...” - Reuters.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reuters.com: “Asian shares gain after solid U.S. data, focus on virus”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks edged up on Thursday, a day after U.S. S&P 500 hit a record peak following encouraging economic data, while investors keep a wary eye on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS gained 0.39% while Japan's Nikkei .N225 rose 1.63%.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 1.13% to a record close of 3,334.69 while the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.43% to 9,508.68, also a record high.

The ADP National Employment Report showed private payrolls jumped 291,000 jobs in January, the most since May 2015, while a separate report showed U.S. services sector activity picked up last month. Both indicators suggest the economy could continue to grow moderately this year even as consumer spending slows.

Traders also cited unconfirmed reports of a possible vaccine breakthrough for the coronavirus as a trigger for Wednesday’s stock rally, although they also said such a catalyst was also likely to be an excuse for short-covering.

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