July 17, 2024

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Asian Shares Mixed Ahead Of Central Bank Meetings

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Asian stocks ended mixed on Thursday as France’s political crisis fueled jitters and investors look ahead to a slew of central bank rate decisions.

The dollar index held steady in Asian trade while gold and oil prices were higher in the wake of rising geopolitical tensions in Europe and the Middle East.

Chinese markets ended modestly lower as the People’s Bank of China left benchmark lending rates unchanged at a monthly fixing and the central bank governor warned of weaker credit growth.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.42 percent to 3,005.44 on concerns about a slowing property market.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.52 percent to 18,335.32, dragged down by financial and tech stocks.

Japanese shares ended slightly higher, led by chip-related stocks with Advantest surging 3.7 percent.

The Nikkei average reversed early losses to finish 0.16 percent higher at 38,633.02 while the broader Topix index settled 0.11 percent lower at 2,725.54.

The yen fluctuated following a five-session drop as data showed Japan’s exports rose for a sixth straight month in May.

Seoul stocks eked out modest gains to end higher for a third day running. The Kospi average inched up 0.37 percent to 2,807.63 – exceeding 2,800 points for the first time in about 2 1/2 years amid gains in the tech sector.

Australian markets ended on a flat note amid diminished hopes for early rate cuts from the country’s central bank.

Namoi Cotton tumbled 4.3 percent after the competition watchdog raised concerns over Olam Agri’s proposed acquisition of the company.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 index jumped 0.86 percent to 11,771.81 after the nation’s economy exited a recession with modest expansion in the first quarter.

The U.S. markets were closed on Wednesday for the Juneteenth holiday.

European stocks closed broadly lower on Wednesday after the European Commission reprimanded France for breaching the EU’s budget rules. The pan European STOXX 600 dipped 0.2 percent after…

2024-06-20 04:35:07

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