Asia-Pacific markets fall; Bank of Japan expected to keep rates unchanged

Soegeefx AppsAsia MarketAsia-Pacific markets fall; Bank of Japan expected to keep rates unchanged

Abigail Ng

Shares in the Asia-Pacific fell ahead of the Bank of Japan’s interest rate decision and a slew of companies in the region reporting earnings.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.49%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.63%, while the Topix was fractionally lower. The Japanese yen was trading at 146-levels, stronger than levels seen last week before an intervention reportedly took place.

The Bank of Japan is expected to keep rates at ultra-low levels, according to forecasts in a Reuters poll.

South Korea’s Kospi was slightly lower. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan declined 0.42%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong dipped 0.1%, with the Hang Seng Tech index sliding more than 1%.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite was 0.58% lower and the Shenzhen Component lost 0.946%.

Some Chinese airlines listed in Hong Kong will report earnings, along with electric vehicle maker BYD. South Korea’s LG Electronics is also scheduled to report earnings.

.N225 Nikkei 225 Index *NIKKEI 27241.93 -103.31 -0.38
.HSI Hang Seng Index *HSI 15324.07 -103.87 -0.67
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 *ASX 200 6805.7 -39.4 -0.58
.SSEC Shanghai *SHANGHAI 2954.03 -28.87 -0.97
.KS11 KOSPI Index *KOSPI 2290.7 1.92 0.08
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX *CNBC 100 6768.93 -40.51 -0.59

Overnight in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 194.17 points, or 0.6%, to end at 32,033.28 in its fifth straight positive session. The S&P 500 closed 0.6% lower at 3,807.30, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 1.6% to 10,792.68.

LG Electronics trades higher ahead of third quarter earnings

Shares of LG Electronics rose as much as 1.25% in morning trade ahead of its earnings report for the third quarter.

The tech company announced preliminary earnings earlier this month — expecting revenue to rise 14% to 21.2 trillion won ($14.96 billion) and operating profit to increase 25% to 746.6 billion won.

The stock was last up 0.37%, while the broader Kospi was up around 0.14%.

— Abigail Ng

Bank of Japan expected to hold rates

The Bank of Japan is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at -0.1%, according to economists surveyed in a Reuters poll.

The central bank is also likely to slightly downgrade its growth forecasts, while revising up its inflation predictions, Reuters reported, citing sources.

Separately, Japanese officials are expected to unveil a new stimulus program worth more than 29 trillion yen ($200 billion), Reuters reported, citing ruling party and government officials.

— Jihye Lee

Japan’s unemployment rate inches up to 2.6% in September

The unemployment rate in Japan rose to 2.6% for the month of September, official data from the Statistics Bureau showed.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected unemployment to stay unchanged from August at 2.5%.

— Abigail Ng

CNBC Pro: There’s a lot of pain ahead for markets, strategist warns

Investors should think twice before chasing the recent bounce in stocks, according to one strategist.

“I think the market rally is a breathing space rally,” Beat Wittmann, chairman of Switzerland’s Porta Advisors, told CNBC.

Jenni Reid

ECB hikes rates by 75 basis points and announces new terms for European banks

The European Central Bank announced Thursday a 75-basis-point interest rate hike — its third consecutive increase this year — while also revealing new conditions for European banks.

The latest rate hike takes the ECB’s main benchmark from 0.75% to 1.5%, a level not seen since 2009 before the sovereign debt crisis. It comes after the central bank rose rates by 50 basis points in July and 75 basis points in September.

The ECB also announced that it was changing the terms and conditions of its targeted longer-term refinancing operations, or TLTROs — a tool that provides European banks with attractive borrowing conditions, designed to incentivize lending to the real economy.

– Silvia Amaro

CNBC Pro: Tech stocks are tumbling but one fund manager still loves Microsoft. Here’s why

Tech stocks have tumbled this week, as investor optimism fades following disappointing results from some of the sector’s biggest names.  

But fund manager Brian Arcese is standing by Microsoft, calling it a “solid long term defensive holding.”

— Zavier Ong

Source : cnbc

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