Asian equity markets ended Thursday’s trading session in positive territory as investors digested news out of Bank Of Japan and markets are keeping an eye on today’s European Central Bank interest rate decision.
Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady. However, it cuts its inflation forecasts for fiscal years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.
Furthermore, the ECB is expected to keep its interest rate neutral, but investors will focus on any signs of changes in its bond buying plan.
Elsewhere in the currency markets, The dollar index edged up to trade at 94.846. The greenback hit a 10-month low of 94.476 earlier in the week. Also, the dollar rose against the yen to trade at 112.11 after trading as low as 111.75.
China equity markets recorded some gains, with the Shanghai Composite advancing 0.44 percent, or 14.3577 points, to close at 3,245.3339 and the Shenzhen Composite trading higher by 0.485 percent, or 8.9171 points, to finish at 1,847.9740.
Japan stock markets ended today’s session in the green supported by the gains recorded in the Chemical, Petroleum & Plastic, Communication and Services sectors. The Nikkei 225 advanced by 0.62 percent to close at 20,144.59 points.
As for the release front, Japan exports in the month of June advanced 9.7 percent on year compared to the 9.5 percent forecast. Imports rose 15.5 percent compared to the 14.6 percent projected.
The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Maruha Nichiro Corp which rose 8.18% or 239.0 points to trade at 3160.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd added 7.37% or 52.0 points to end at 758.0, and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. was up 4.89% or 220.0 points to 4715.0 in late trade.
The worst performers of the session were DeNA Co Ltd, which fell 3.66% or 97.0 points to trade at 2556.0 at the close. Nippon Electric Glass Co., Ltd. declined 2.88% or 120.0 points to end at 4050.0 and Meidensha Corp. was down 1.86% or 7.0 points to 369.0.
Australia stock market ended Thursday’s session in the green after the huge gains in the financials sector also the 7.1 percent increase in the share of Santos firm after the company raised its output guidance for the year and said that it is in the process of cutting costs and debt levels. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.51 percent, or 29.374 points, to close at 5,761.5
Meanwhile, Australian jobs data for the month of June showed that employment rose by 14,000 compared to the 15,000 expected. The June participation rate stood at 65 percent, a tad higher than the 64.9 percent forecast.
The Australian dollar rose to a fresh two-year high on the back of the news although it later pared back those gains. The Aussie dollar touched as high as $0.7989 following the news compared to the $0.7949 seen at the end of the last session. The Aussie dollar traded at $0.7923
The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Santos Ltd which rose 7.95% or 0.240 points to trade at 3.260 at the close. Meanwhile, APN Outdoor Group Ltd added 3.56% or 0.170 points to end at 4.950 and Carsales.Com Ltd was up 3.33% or 0.400 points to 12.400 in late trade.
The worst performers of the session were Myer Holdings Ltd which fell 10.74% or 0.088 points to trade at 0.728 at the close. Fletcher Building Ltd declined 5.75% or 0.430 points to end at 7.050 and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd was down 3.53% or 0.190 points to 5.190.
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