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Asia-Pacific stocks rise; Reserve Bank of New Zealand keeps rates unchanged

Asia-Pacific stocks rise; Reserve Bank of New Zealand keeps rates unchanged

Shares in Asia-Pacific were higher on Wednesday. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept interest rates unchanged despite expectations of a hike. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.71% while the Topix index climbed 0.6%. Japan’s government on Tuesday decided to extend the Covid-19 state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas to Sept. 12, local news agency Kyodo News reported. Mainland Chinese stocks advanced. The Shanghai composite gained 0.56% while the Shenzhen component rose 0.379%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index traded 0.75% higher.

South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.98% while in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 hovered around the flatline. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.6% higher. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced Wednesday that it would keep its monetary settings unchanged, leaving the official cash rate at 0.25%. Analysts had expected that New Zealand could be the first advanced economy in Asia-Pacific to raise interest rates in the pandemic era of easy monetary policy.

In a release, the New Zealand central bank said the decision was “made in the context” of the government’s imposition of a nationwide lockdown.

Asia-Pacific stocks rise; Reserve Bank of New Zealand keeps rates unchanged, CNBC, Aug 18

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