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Asia Markets: Asian markets rise as Fed leaves itself wiggle room, hopes for trade talks rekindled

Asian markets gained Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged, but indicated it is ready to make ease monetary policy if needed.

The Fed said it will “closely monitor” the economy given increasing uncertainty about government policy, though it signaled it may not need to lower rates before 2020. But Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the central bank is prepared to cut interest rates if necessary.

There was also encouraging news on the trade front, as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he plans to meet his Chinese counterpart ahead of the G-20 summit next week. “When actual negotiations begin again, I can’t say at this point,” Lighthizer said.

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