Asian Markets Mixed, Bank of Japan Holds Monetary Rate Steady

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday as the Bank of Japan held steady on monetary policy.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.98% to close at 28,003.08 while the Topix index slipped 0.38% to finish the trading day at 1,932.19.

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Nikkei 225 Index Performance Chart

Japan’s central bank downgraded its real GDP forecast for 2021 to 3.8% growth, as compared with the 4% growth forecast made in April.

The Bank of Japan also kept its yield curve control target at -0.1% for short-term interest rates and 0% for 10-year Japanese government bond yields. Yield curve control is a policy to stimulate the country’s economy and entails keeping the 10-year Japanese government bond yield at zero.

Following that announcement, the Japanese yen traded at 109.95 per dollar, against an earlier high of 109.72 against the greenback.

In other markets, South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.28% to close at 3,276.91.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.71% on the day to 3,539.30 while the Shenzhen component dropped 1.299% to close at 14,972.21. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 0.2%, as of its final hour of trading.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.17% higher at 7,348.10 While the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.38% lower

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 shed 0.33% to 4,360.03 while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.7% to 14,543.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 53.79 points to 34,987.02.

Asian Markets Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.60 after a recent bounce from below 92.4.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7433 following a decline from around $0.748 yesterday.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures falling 0.37% to $73.20 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 0.32% to $71.42 per barrel.

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