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With Central Banks in Focus: Asian Markets React Differently

Asian markets

Asian markets respond mixed as Japan raises rates and Australia holds, impacting stocks, commodities, and global sentiment.

The Asian markets experienced a mixed response as Japan opted for a significant policy shift, raising interest rates for the first time in over a decade. At the same time, Australia maintained its status quo, holding steady on its benchmark rate.

Japan’s Move Boosts Nikkei

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index surged above the 40,000 mark following the Bank of Japan’s announcement to raise interest rates from -0.1 % to 0% to 0.1%. This marked the first rate hike since 2007, indicating a substantial policy adjustment. The move saw the Nikkei 225 close 0.66% higher at 40,003.60. The broader Topix also saw gains, rising by 1.06% to 2,750.97, reflecting investor optimism towards Japan’s economic trajectory post-policy change.

Australia Maintains a Steady Course

In contrast, the Reserve Bank of Australia maintained its benchmark rate of 4.35% for the third consecutive meeting. Citing persistent high inflation, the bank indicated that inflationary pressures would take time to subside to within the target range of 2%-3%. Following the announcement, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.36% higher at 7,703.20, reflecting market stability in response to the decision.

Mixed Performance Across Asia

Other Asian markets witnessed varied performances in response to the central bank’s actions. South Korea’s Kospi fell by 0.93%, while the Kosdaq dipped by 0.26%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index experienced a notable decline, sliding by 1.15%, and the mainland Chinese CSI 300 also registered a modest decrease of 0.35%.

With Central Banks in Focus: Asian Markets React Differently

Global Market Highlights

In the global arena, tech stocks in the U.S. exhibited gains, with Nvidia shares rising 0.7% on the opening day of its GTC Conference, focusing on advancements in artificial intelligence. Additionally, Alphabet shares surged by 4.6% following reports of potential collaboration with Apple for Google’s Gemini A.I. inclusion in iPhones. This positive sentiment translated into gains across major U.S. indices, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising by 0.2%, the S&P 500 gaining 0.63%, and the Nasdaq Composite climbing 0.82%.

Commodity and Rate Movements

Commodity prices experienced minor fluctuations, with gold trading at $2159.5 (-0.26%) and silver at $25.17 (-0.63%). Brent Oil stood at $86.53 (-0.26%), while WTI Oil was $82.3 (-0.16%). In the bond market, the U.S. 10-year yield stood at 4.32%, the U.K. 10-year yield at 4.128%, and the Germany 10-year yield at 2.452%.

Upcoming Events

Investors are keenly awaiting upcoming economic data releases, including Canadian CPI figures and U.S. housing-related data, which could provide further insights into the global financial landscape.

The Asian markets remain poised for further developments, with investor sentiment likely to be influenced by both domestic and international economic indicators in the days ahead.

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