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Asian shars hold steady after solid gains in previous session

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Asian shares held steady on Friday, showing stability after sharp gains in the previous session.

The Nikkei 225 edged up less than 0.1% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2% after hefty gains on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.4%.

Thursday's gains made Australia and Japan among the best performers in Asia this week, with Sydney up 0.9% since last Friday and Tokyo gaining 1.8% over the same period.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended largely flat after investors locked in gains from the Federal Reserve's somewhat dovish Wednesday policy statement and sold for profits.

The Dow 30 rose 0.09%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.13%, while the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.08%.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday left benchmark interest rates unchanged at 0.00-0.25% and cut its monthly bond-buying program to $35 billion from $45 billion in a widely expected move.

The Fed sidestepped addressing specifically how much time will elapse after its monthly stimulus program ends and when interest-rate hikes begin, with investors concluding that the Fed will take its time to tighten policy, which drew applause on Wall Street.

Profit taking cut into gains, however, while markets kept a close eye on events unfolding in Iraq.

Fighting between Iraqi security forces and Sunni insurgents continued on Thursday, while U.S. President Barack Obama said he stood ready to take "targeted and precise" action to control the violence, while reports that Iran is also ready to battle the insurgency sparked fears of a civil war.

Elsewhere, upbeat U.S. data kept stock indices largely in positive territory.

In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index rose to an eight-month high of 17.8 in June from 15.4 in May. Analysts had expected the index to dip to 14.0 in June.

The data came after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 14 declined by 6,000 to 312,000 from the previous week's revised total of 318,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 4,000 to 314,000 last week.

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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.


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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