Asia Shares Trade Mixed ahead of Bank of Japan Rate Decision

Asia and Pacific stocks traded mixed as investors await the outcome of the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy meeting, with markets speculating that the world’s third largest economy may quit decades of ultra-low interest rates.

The Nikkei 225 rose 0.54% as of 9:34 a.m. (Thai time), with the Japanese central bank beginning its second day of monetary policy meetings amidst rising government bond yields, a strong yen, and the expectation, on the part of some economists, that the bank will leave its yield curve control policy.

The Japanese yen last traded at 128.84 per US dollar.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong increased by 0.26%. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.19%.

Although markets have prepared for possible changes, a Reuters poll found that 97% of analysts expected the BOJ to continue its ultra-easy policy during the meeting.

The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia rose 0.16%. The Kospi fell by 0.77%.

U.S. stock markets fell sharply overnight as investors struggled to sustain the optimism seen at the beginning of the year 2023.

Dow Jones lost nearly 400 points or 1.14% to close at 33,910.85 points. S&P 500 dropped 0.20% to 3,990.97 points. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.14% to 11,095.11 points.