Soft US data dents post-Bernanke hopes in markets (AP)

Businessmen check the day's stock prices on an electric board  in Tokyo Thursday,  Oct. 14, 2010.   Asian stock markets advanced Thursday, lifted by better-than-expected earnings results from U.S. corporate bellwethers and growing expectations for action by the U.S. Federal Reserve to spur growth. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index jumped 163.02 points, or 1.7 percent, to 9,568.73.  (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)AP – Weak U.S. consumer confidence figures hit stocks hard Friday after they had rallied earlier on comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that the central bank stands ready to loosen monetary policy again to shore up the U.S. economy.

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