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Asia-Pacific stocks mixed, New Zealand Central Bank Maintains Currency Settings.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday, with multiple markets in Southeast Asia closed for a holiday.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.31% on the day to 28,642.19, while the Topix index ended the trading day fractionally higher at 1,920.67. South Korea’s Kospi dipped around 0.1% to close at 3,168.43.

Asian markets
Nikkei 225 Index Performance Chart

Mainland Chinese stocks closed mixed, with the Shanghai composite up 0.34% to 3,593.36 while the Shenzhen component dipped 0.355% to 14,793.68. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose around 0.8% as of its final hour of trading.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia shed 0.32% to close at 7,092.50.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan nudged 0.38% higher.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced Wednesday it would maintain the current stimulatory monetary settings until its inflation and employment targets are met. Following that announcement, the New Zealand dollar jumped more than 1% to $0.7309, strengthening further from levels below $0.72 seen earlier this week.

In Southeast Asia, markets in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand were closed for a holiday on Wednesday.

Asian Markets Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 89.751 — weaker as compared to levels above 89.7 seen recently.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.83 per dollar after touching levels around 108.6 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7777, stronger than levels below $0.772 seen earlier in the week.

Oil prices were steady on Wednesday as concerns of a possible resumption in Iranian supply that would result in an oversupply was offset by hopes for stronger U.S. fuel demand after a drop in weekly inventory estimates by the American Petroleum Institute.

Brent crude oil futures for July gained 5 cents, or 0.1%, to $68.70 a barrel by 0102 GMT. While U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for July was at $66.05 a barrel, down 2 cents.

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