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Shares in Asia gain smartly as central bank views on policy remain easy

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Shutterstock photo - - Shares in Tokyo, Sydney and Shanghai gained on Tuesday linked to central bank views that support continued easy policy in the region.

The Shanghai Composite jumped 1.80%, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.02% and the Nikkei 225 gained 1.23%.

The Australian dollar surged on Tuesday after the central bank held rates at a record low 2.25% and even as it signalled more cuts were possible.

"At today's meeting the Board judged that it was appropriate to hold interest rates steady for the time being. Further easing of policy may be appropriate over the period ahead, in order to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation consistent with the target," Governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement.

"The Board will continue to assess the case for such action at forthcoming meetings."

Earlier, the People's Bank of China cut the seven-day reverse-repo rate by 10 basis points at Tuesday's open-market operations in a bid to guide market rates lower.

In Japan, The BOJ starts its two-day policy board meeting where it is expected to maintain its monetary policy target.

Overnight, U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Oil & Gas, Utilities and Technology sectors led shares higher.

At the close in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.66%, while the S&P 500 index climbed 0.66%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 0.62%.

Overnight, European markets were closed since the end of last Thursday for Good Friday, as well as Easter Monday.

On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its monthly jobs report that the economy added 126,000 in March, halting a streak of 12 consecutive months of job growth that exceeded 200,000. The modest job increases nationwide marked the weakest period of hiring in 15 months. In terms of average weekly earnings, employees nationwide received the smallest annual gains in wages since last June.

The labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people who are either employed or actively looking for work, also painted a bleak outlook. During the month of March, the rate ticked down to 62.7%, the lowest level in 36 years.

In March, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen indicated that the Fed could begin raising interest rates when it was "reasonably confident" that inflation will move toward its target inflation of 2%. Yellen added that the Fed will take a "data-driven" approach to potential liftoff by keeping a close eye on wage and GDP growth before raising its benchmark Federal Funds Rate.

Elsewhere, International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Christine Lagarde indicated that she is confident Greece will meet its obligation to make a €460 million payment to the fund by Thursday. Lagarde made the comments on Sunday night, following her meeting with Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis over the weekend in Washington.

"Minister Varoufakis and I exchanged views on current developments and we both agreed that effective cooperation is in everyone's interest," Lagarde said in a statement. "We noted that continuing uncertainty is not in Greece's interest and I welcomed confirmation by the minister that payment owing to the Fund would be forthcoming on April 9." 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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