Tokyo — Asian stocks extended gains on Tuesday as overnight strength on Wall Street and the Federal Reserve’s cautious turn underpinned appetite for riskier assets, while the dollar held firm on last week’s upbeat US data. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.4% and hovered near its four-month high marked on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei average was flat on the day but at its highest level in seven weeks. Australian shares jumped 2.2%, with long-battered financials surging on short-covering after a special government-appointed inquiry excoriated Australia's financial sector for misconduct but left the structure of the country's powerful banks in place. Elsewhere in Asia, trade was light, with markets in greater China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Indonesia all closed for the Lunar New Year. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained, with technology and industrials the biggest winners as investors braced for another big week of fourth-quarter corporate earnin...

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