Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as investors await Bank of Japan decision; Chinese tech stocks rise

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SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks were higher in Thursday morning trade, as investors in the region look ahead to the Bank of Japan’s latest monetary policy decision.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose fractionally while the Topix index climbed 0.31%.

Japan’s retail sales rose more than expected in March, according to government data released Thursday. Retail sales gained 0.9% in March as compared with a year earlier, above median market a forecast for a 0.4% rise, according to Reuters.

The Bank of Japan is set to announce its latest monetary policy decision at 11:00 a.m. HK/SIN on Thursday.

South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.32% while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.94%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.21% higher.

Investors in Asia-Pacific will continue to monitor developments surrounding the Covid situation in mainland China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for an “all-out” effort to construct infrastructure. His comments come as mainland China has since March been facing its worst outbreak of Covid-19 since the initial shock of the pandemic in early 2020.

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 gained 0.21% to 4,183.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 61.75 points, or 0.19%, to 33,301.93. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was little changed at 12,488.93.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 102.985 — continuing to hold above the 102 levels it crossed earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 128.37 per dollar, weaker as compared with levels below 127.4 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7118, off levels above $0.72 seen earlier in the week.

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