Asian Markets Open Higher

Posted August 9th, 2011 at 8:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Asian markets opened sharply higher Wednesday after a good day on Wall Street, when U.S. stocks gained back a good part of Monday's sell-off.

Major indexes in Seoul and Sydney were up about 3 percent shortly after the opening. Tokyo's Nikkei was almost 2 percent higher.

U.S. markets swung wildly back and forth between sharp gains and deep drops during a nerve-wracking day on Wall Street Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average wound up the day 4 percent higher.

Top officials of the U.S. central bank said Tuesday they are worried that the nation's economy is recovering more slowly and the labor market is weaker than expected. They voted to keep the key interest rate in its current ultra-low range — between zero and one-quarter of a percent — until at least the middle of 2013.

Officials hope these record-low interest rates lead to more borrowing and spending to stimulate the economy.

The Fed meeting followed several days of steep losses for stock markets around the world, and Friday's downgrade of U.S. credit by the Standard & Poor's rating agency. Central bank officials said they discussed other policy options to boost the economy, and are ready to use them if needed.