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November 30, 2011

Asian Stocks Surge After Global Central Bank Action

Analysts say move by six central banks makes borrowing US dollars cheaper, gives Europe more time for economic solution

Stock markets in Asia soared Thursday, continuing a global rally after the world's major central banks took coordinated steps to support Europe's troubled economy.

Shares in Japan's Nikkei average closed up nearly 2 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Sang Index surged more than 5.5 percent.  Those followed gains Wednesday of more than 3 percent at major exchanges in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Analysts said the move Wednesday by six central banks making it cheaper for financial institutions to borrow U.S. dollars gives Europe more time to find a solution to its economic crisis.

They say the actions show the seriousness of the situation in Europe, but do not solve the underlying problems.

Worries about the survival of the euro currency and the continent's two-year-old debt crisis have sent global markets swinging up and down sharply for weeks.

European leaders are discussing whether to require eurozone nations to cede control of their finances to a central authority to oversee spending and impose austerity measures.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the central banks in Japan, Canada and Switzerland said that starting Monday they are making it half a percentage point cheaper for banks to borrow U.S. dollars.

The move was aimed at increasing the flow of capital for European banks and boosting economic activity around the world.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.