Asian markets were mostly higher on Thursday after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) kept its ultra-easy monetary policy unchanged following the US Federal Reserve’s interest-rate cut.
Mainland Chinese stocks were up on the day, with the Shanghai composite higher by 0.46 percent at about 2,999.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, however, declined 1.07 percent to close at about 26,469 after the Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced it adjusted its base rate downward by 25 basis points to 2.25 percent.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 0.38 percent to close at 22,044 while the Topix index added 0.56% to end its trading day at 1,616.
The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday in an expected move following Fed’s decision to slash its benchmark rate overnight by 25 basis points. The BoJ maintained its short-term interest rate target at -0.1 percent and a pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around 0 percent.
Over in South Korea, the Kospi closed 0.46 percent higher at 2,080 as shares of Samsung Electronics surged 3.04 percent.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also gained 0.54 percent to finish its trading day at 6,718 following labour data release, which showed the country’s trend unemployment rate increased to 5.3 percent in August.
Following the employment data release, the Australian dollar traded at about $0.6787 after seeing highs above $0.684 in the previous session.
Among individual stocks, Sony Financial added in Tokyo trading, along with semiconductor-equipment maker Advantest and Tokyo Gas. In Hong Kong, Apple suppliers and Sunny Optical rose while AIA and PetroChina fell.
In Europe, shares gained on Thursday led by banks, as central banks across the globe loosen monetary policy while making it easier for lenders to obtain short-term financing.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index added 0.35% to 391, with gains for lenders including the Bank of Ireland, Commerzbank and Bankia.
The German DAX added 0.24% to 12419, the French CAC 40 gained 0.42% to 5644 and the UK FTSE 100 increased 0.24% to 7331.
Among individual companies in the spotlight, UK retailer Next fell over 4 percent after holding its outlook for the year for 0.3 percent pretax profit growth.
IG Group rallied nearly 9 percent as the UK-based trading platform said fiscal first-quarter revenue was flat and that the business “performed well” as it grew active clients and client trading activity.
Meanwhile, in the US, stocks were set to open slightly lower on Thursday morning, with Dow futures declining 50 points, indicating a negative open of more than 53 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were also trading lower.
Frontpage February 27, 2019