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Markets rise; earnings, Fed eyed

Written by: Staff
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HONG KONG, Oct 25 (Reuters) Asian stocks edged higher on Wednesday as energy shares such as Japan's INPEX rose on the back of a rebound in oil, but further upside was seen limited ahead of a batch of earnings from key firms such as Honda Motor Investors were also awaiting the Federal Reserve's decision on U.S. interest rates due at 1815 GMT on Wednesday (early Thursday in Asia).

While the U.S. central bank is widely expected to keep its target funds rate unchanged at 5.25 percent, investors are keen for clues on future rate moves.

At 0025 GMT, Tokyo's Nikkei average, South Korea's key KOSPI and Australia's key S&P/ASX 200 index were all up about 0.3 percent.

Among the gainers, energy shares such as Japan's INPEX Holdings added 1.30 percent and Australia's Woodside Petroleum put on 0.69 percent.

U.S. crude rose 8 cents to .43, adding to Tuesday's rise after the United Arab Emirates told buyers it would cut exports next month, easing doubts that OPEC members will implement pledged cutbacks.

Also in favour, South Korea's POSCO added 1.72 percent a day after the steel maker said it would lift prices of stainless steel products for a seventh time this year.

But some tech shares such as chip-equipment maker Advantest Corp. eased 0.81 percent and Samsung Electronics was flat after declines in their U.S. peers.

''Tech stocks look vulnerable after losses in U.S. tech shares, but given that there's already been a correction, losses could be more limited,'' said Kim Hak-kyun, an analyst at Korea Investment and Securities.

Honda Motor inched up 0.49 percent but Sharp Corp. fell 0.24 percent ahead of their results due after the Tokyo market close.

U.S. blue-chip stocks rose on Tuesday, taking the Dow to another record closing high, but tech shares fell after Texas Instruments Inc.'s disappointing revenue forecast.

The Dow closed up 0.09 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.46 percent.

REUTERS PDS VP0726

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