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Asian shares gain with China Lunar New Year holiday ahead - - China shares were on track to head steady into a 5-day holiday starting at the end of this week and running through Thursday next week to mark the Lunar New Year while other Asian markets took a cue of record closes for U.S. indexes, including the Dow above 20,000 for the first time.

The Shanghai Composite Index was rose 0.07%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 1.30%.

In Asia, fourth quarter inflation in New Zealand rose 1.3% year-on-year and 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, both above expectations with NZD/USD down 0.12% to 0.7284 after the data, while Japan reported the corporate services price index up 0.4% in December as expected.

The Nikkei 225 jumped 1.75% with Japan Display soaring 8.22% after it said it would start providing flexible liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for smartphones. The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.38%.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.07% to 99.84.

Overnight, U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Technology, Financials and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.78% to hit a new all time high, while the S&P 500 index climbed 0.80%, and the NASDAQ Composite index gained 0.99%.

The share gains happened despite concerns growing over the path of global trade under President Donald Trump after a series of steps to review or abandon multilateral trade pacts and strike bilateral deals even as U.S. share indexes reached record highs on Wednesday.

A flurry of executive actions on immigration and regulations that affect business by President Donald Trump helped lift the Dow Jones index above 20,000 on Wednesday.

Trump also cleared the way for two controversial pipelines on Tuesday, making it easier for TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline and for Energy Transfer Partners to build the final portion of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The greenback also weakened this week after Trump said on Twitter that he would seek a "major investigation" into alleged voter fraud, focusing on two states and illegal voters. The call came despite Republican election officials in key states saying they have found no evidence of fraudulent voting. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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