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Sept. 18, 2019, 11:32 p.m. EDT

Asian markets mixed as Fed cuts rates, BOJ stays unchanged

Nikkei up, Hang Seng down as all eyes on central banks

By Marketwatch and Associated Press


Reuters
Pedestrians walk on a street in front of the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo.

Asian markets were mixed in early trading Thursday, as the Bank of Japan kept its ultra-easy monetary policy unchanged following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest-rate cut.

The BOJ’s move — or lack thereof — was expected, though the central bank hinted that could cut interest rates even deeper into negative territory at its October meeting.

On Wednesday, the Fed lowered its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point, and suggested it was open to another cut before the year’s end.

Japan’s Nikkei (NIKKEI:JP:NIK)   rose 1% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HONG:HK:HSI)   fell 1%. The Shanghai Composite (SHG:CN:SHCOMP)   inched up 0.1%, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite (SHENHZEN:CN:399106)   rose 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721)   advanced 0.4%. Stocks were about flat in Singapore (SES:SG:STI)  , and down in Taiwan (TAIWAN:TW:Y9999)  , Malaysia (KLS:MY:FBMKLCI)   and Indonesia (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX)  . Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO)   rose 0.7%.

Among individual stocks, Sony Financial (TKS:JP:8729)   gained in Tokyo trading, along with semiconductor-equipment maker Advantest (TKS:JP:6857)   and Tokyo Gas (TKS:JP:9531)  . In Hong Kong, Apple suppliers AAC (HKG:HK:2018)   and Sunny Optical (HKG:HK:2382)  rose while AIA (HKG:HK:1299)   and PetroChina (HKG:HK:857)   fell. Samsung (KRX:KR:005930)   and SK Hynix (KRX:KR:000660)   advanced in South Korea while Apple component maker Largan Precision (TAI:TW:3008)   gained in Taiwan. After a big gain Wednesday, clothing retailer Kathmandu (ASX:AU:KMD)   retreated in Australia.

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