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Asia stocks rise as ECB appears set to cut rates; softer labor market fuels hopes the Fed might follow suit

This is CNBC's live blog covering Asia-Pacific markets.

Asia-Pacific stocks rose Thursday as investors expect the European Central Bank to cut rates, with softer U.S. labor market data fueling hopes that the Fed might follow suit, further boosting market sentiment.

The ECB this week appears set to cut borrowing costs for the euro area for the first time since September 2019.

Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 0.59% and gave up earlier gains, while the broad-based Topix gained 0.3%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.81%, as the country's exports fell to its lowest level since December 2021.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.59%, paring earlier gains while the CSI 300 on mainland China was marginally above the flatline.

India's Nifty 50 and Sensex indexes are up 0.65% and 0.49%, building on Wednesday's gains after the National Democratic Alliance, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, agreed to form the next government.

South Korea's markets were closed for a public holiday.

Overnight in the U.S., Nvidia led major tech stocks higher and slightly weak labor market data gave investors hope the Federal Reserve might move to lower interest rates later this year.

The S&P500 rose 1.18% to close at 5,354.03, a fresh record, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.96% to 17,187.90, also a new record, as Nvidia shares jumped to make it the world's second most valuable company.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average trailed a bit as stocks outside of technology underperformed, adding just 0.25%.

— CNBC's Brian Evans and Alex Harring contributed to this report.

The Bank of Japan's inflation target of 2% from 2025 onwards may not be met, BOJ policymaker Toyoaki Nakamura said in a speech in Sapporo, Reuters reported Thursday.