Asia-Pacific stocks mixed on Fed easy policy 

Asia-Pacific markets

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed Thursday morning after the S&P 500 edges higher to hit a record closing high. 

Japan Nikkei 225 declined 0.55% while the Topix index declined 0.62%. South Korea’s Kospi was lower by 0.32%.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 added 0.39%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.1% lower.

The equity benchmark S&P 500 gained 0.15% to a new closing high of 4,079.95. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16.02 points, or 0.048%, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped slightly to close down 0.07%.

The S&P 500 and the Dow managed to end the day in the green after the U.S. Federal Reserve released minutes from its March meeting. 

Federal Reserve officials pointed to a brighter outlook for the economy while agreeing to provide continued support through ultralow interest rates and large monthly bond purchases.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index was at 92.41 following its decline earlier in the week from above 92.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.88 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110.5 against the greenback seen early this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7608, having declined from levels above $0.764 yesterday.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.28% to $62.98 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also dipped 0.37% to $59.55 per barrel.

Damon Harrison
Market Analyst, IPG Group