Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as investors react to Fed meeting minutes

SINGAPORE – Shares in Asia-Pacific continued to struggle for direction in Thursday trading as investors reacted to the minutes issued overnight from the November meeting of the US Federal Reserve.

Mainland Chinese stocks were lower in morning trade: Shanghai Composite declined 0.3% while the Shenzhen component fell 0.952%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index traded 0.11% higher.

Stocks in Japan were higher, as the Nikkei 225 rose 0.66% while the Topix index rose 0.45%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.35%.

The stock S&P / ASX 200 in Australia has sunk 0.17%.

MSCI’s largest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.28% higher.

A summary of the Fed meeting earlier this month indicated that US central bank officials discussed ways to get more money into the economy, which is still recovering from the coronovirus epidemic.

Overnight States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 173.77 points at 29,872.47. The S&P 500 shed 0.2% to end its trading day at 3,629.65 after closing higher in the previous trade. The Nasdaq Composite fared better as it closed up 0.5% at 12,094.40.

Currencies and oil

The US Dollar Index, which monitors the greenback against a basket of its peers, stood at 91.955 after seeing a level above 92.4 earlier this week.

The Japanese Yen traded at 104.34 levels per week, with the level below 104 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7359, well above the level below $ 0.732 seen earlier in the week.

The Bank of Korea held its key policy rate steady at a record level of 0.5%, in line with economists’ expectations in a Reuters poll on Thursday.

Following that announcement, the Korean traded at 1,104.85 per dollar, compared with an earlier low of 1,107.30 against the greenback.

Oil prices in the morning of Asia trading hours were 0.8% to $ 49 per barrel, the international benchmark Brent crude futures. US crude futures also rose 0.66% to $ 46.01 a barrel.

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