Asia shares rise as investors look ahead to Fed meeting

TOKYO — Asian shares rose Monday, despite the rollercoast ride that closed Wall Street last week, as traders awaited cues from the U.S. central bank expected later in the week.

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party was set to pick a new leader, who will by definition become the prime minister because of the party’s control over the more powerful lower house of Parliament. Favored to win is veteran ruling party politician, Yoshihide Suga, who will continue Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” policies of easy lending and deregulation.

“That decision should not be market moving as we fully expect a steady hand to remain on the tiller of Abenomics. Mr. Suga has signalled that no further rises in sales tax are on the horizon, but all else should stay the same,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.

“Of more interest will be if Mr. Suga signals that a new election will be held to mandate his new government,” Halley said.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.7% to 23,570.55. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.6% to 5,893.40. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.2% to 2,426.42. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained nearly 1.0% to 24,744.86, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.6% to 3,278.89.

SoftBank, which announced Sunday that it was selling Britain’s Arm Holdings to computer graphics chip company Nvidia for $40 billion, jumped 9.4% in morning trading. SoftBank spent $32 billion to acquire Arm in 2016. Nvidia is best known for its graphics processing chips, while Arm is renowned as an innovator in the “Internet of Things.”

Also on players’ radar screen is the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, which is meeting later in the week.

The Federal Reserve’s massive aid for the economy has helped underpin the markets’ recovery from the coronavirus downturn by slashing short-term interest rates to record lows and buying up

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