Asian Stocks Mixed as Markets await Economic Data

Trading in Asia was mixed on Thursday as investors awaited the release of a flood of economic data.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong jumped 1.58% as early as 9:20 a.m. (Thai time), as traders returned after a holiday and pushed regional markets higher.

Following the announcement of the Bank of Japan’s statement of comments from last week’s meeting, the Nikkei 225 index fell by 0.16%. The Japanese yen last traded at 129.26 per US dollar.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.63% even though the country’s GDP fell 0.4% in the fourth quarter, the first quarterly contraction in more than two years.

China and Australia’s stock exchanges are closed for the holiday.

Overnight, U.S. stocks generally fell, with technology companies’ shares suffering after Microsoft’s disappointing guidance.

On Thursday, the Bank of Japan’s Summary of Opinions from its most recent meeting was made public, and it revealed that the policymakers there believe the current monetary policy, including the yield curve management, should be kept in place.

The announcement reaffirmed the central bank’s stance on inflation, saying, “The Bank needs to continue with the current yield curve control, considering the outlook that it will take time to achieve the price stability target of 2% in a sustainable and stable manner.”