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Hong Kong shares slip around 1% as Asia markets are mixed; Bank of Japan rate decision ahead

Soegeefx AppsAsia MarketHong Kong shares slip around 1% as Asia markets are mixed; Bank of Japan rate decision ahead

Key Points

  • Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Thursday as investors look ahead to the Bank of Japan rate decision.
  • The Bank of Japan is expected to keep rates at ultra-low levels Thursday, according to a Reuters poll.
  • In company news, Hyundai Motor will be reporting its second-quarter results Thursday.

SINGAPORE — Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Thursday as investors look ahead to the Bank of Japan rate decision.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was about flat.

Rio Tinto shares fell 2.59% after the company said it will pay the Australian Taxation Office an additional tax of 613 million Australian dollars ($422 million) over a dispute. Rio previously paid the ATO 378 million Australian dollars.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.38% and the Kosdaq was 0.32% higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped nearly 1%, while mainland China markets dropped.

The Shanghai Composite fell 0.41% and Shenzhen Component declined 0.18%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan was fractionally lower while the Topix index lost 0.29%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.28%.

Bank of Japan decision ahead

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

Takuji Okubo, managing director of Japan Macro Advisors, said a rate hike is quite unlikely, but acknowledged that there are concerns over the falling value of the yen.

However, I think there are other ways, other policies — other than Bank of Japan’s monetary policy — [that] can help ease the pain from the weak yen,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday. ”[The] Japanese government can intervene directly in the exchange rate market to help support the yen.”

Japan’s yen changed hands at 138.36 per dollar ahead of the decision.

The currency has weakened considerably in recent months as Japan’s easy monetary policy diverges from that of other countries.

Central banks in the region and the rest of the world have raised interest rates in a bid to keep inflation under control. The European Central Bank is expected to hike rates later Thursday.

Japan’s latest consumer price index report showed that prices rose 2.1% from a year before, just above the central bank’s target.

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In company news, Hyundai Motor will be reporting its second-quarter results Thursday.

Overnight in the U.S., major averages reached their highest points since early June.

The Nasdaq Composite popped 1.58% to 11,897.65, and the S&P 500 gained 0.59% to 3,959.90. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 47.79 points, or 0.15%, to 31,874.84 after struggling for direction in the session.

TICKER COMPANY NAME PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE
.N225 Nikkei 225 Index *NIKKEI 27657.53 -22.73 -0.08
.HSI Hang Seng Index *HSI 20657.13 -233.09 -1.12
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 *ASX 200 6755.7 -3.5 -0.05
.SSEC Shanghai *SHANGHAI 3290.47 -14.25 -0.43
.KS11 KOSPI Index *KOSPI 2396.54 9.69 0.41
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX *CNBC 100 8065.25 -42.96 -0.53

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 106.950, weaker than last week’s levels.

The Australian dollar was at $0.6890, slightly lower than earlier in the week.

Oil futures fell in Asia trade. U.S. crude slipped 0.91% to $98.97 per barrel, while Brent crude dropped 0.76% to $106.11 per barrel.

Source : CNBC

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