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Asian shares mostly up on U.S. stimulus hopes

Asian markets were mostly up Wednesday, extending a recent rally on renewed hopes for a fresh round of US monetary easing despite weak consumer confidence data in the United States and Europe. Sydney rose 0.56 percent, or 27.3 points, to 4,296.5 while Hong Kong jumped 1.64 percent, or 330.68 points,…

U.S. consumer confidence hits three-decade low

WASHINGTON — US consumer confidence plunged to the lowest level in more than three decades in early August, according to data published Friday by Reuters and the University of Michigan. Their index of consumer sentiment tumbled to 54.9, its lowest reading since May 1980, when the index sank to 51.7.…