Asian stock markets have followed Wall Street higher after Japan and South Korea reported unexpectedly strong economic data and President Joe Biden announced a $2.3 trillion infrastructure spending plan

Currency traders talk each other at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 1, 2021. Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Thursday after Japan and South Korea reported unexpectedly strong economic data and President Joe Biden announced a $2.3 trillion U.S. infrastructure spending plan. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

BY JOE MCDONALD, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Thursday after Japan and South Korea reported unexpectedly strong economic data and President Joe Biden announced a $2.3 trillion U.S. infrastructure spending plan.

Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney advanced.

Japan’s closely watched quarterly Tankan survey found business conditions improved more than expected. South Korea reported higher March export growth. House prices rose in New Zealand and Australian manufacturing expanded.

“Asia-Pacific released a lot of data today, including Japan’s latest Tankan survey. Most of it was positive,” Robert Carnell of ING said in a report.

Biden announced plans to spend on broadband internet and clean energy, roads, bridges and public transit. The plan would roll back corporate tax cuts enacted under his predecessor, Donald Trump.

There was little market reaction because “investors appear to have already priced in” the spending and taxes, said Edward Moya of Oanda in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% to 3,453.10 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 1.1% to 29,513.59. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.8% to 28,616.61.

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