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Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
22.1 C
Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
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    Asian shares higher in thin holiday trading

    BANGKOK (AP) – Shares rose yesterday in Asia in thin post-Christmas holiday trading, with markets in Hong Kong, Sydney and several other places closed.

    Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.6 per cent to 26,393.32 and the Kospi in Seoul added 0.2 per cent to 2,318.54.

    The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.5 per cent to 3,061.93 and the SET in Bangkok added 0.6 per cent.

    Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda indicated in a widely watched speech yesterday that the central bank does not intend to alter its longstanding policy of monetary easing to cope with pressures from inflation on the world’s third-largest economy.

    Last week, markets were jolted by a slight adjustment in the target range for the yield of long-term Japanese government bonds, viewing it as a sign the BOJ might finally unwind its massive support for the economy through ultra-low interest rates and purchases of bonds and other assets.

    Visitors are seen at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. PHOTO: AP

    A widening gap between interest rates in Japan and other countries has pulled the Japanese yen sharply lower against the US dollar and other currencies and accentuated the impact of higher costs for many imported products and commodities.

    But the BOJ has kept its key lending rate at minus 0.1 per cent, cautious over risks of recession.

    Kuroda told the Keidanren, the country’s most powerful business group, that with economies facing likely downward pressure, and with Japan’s economy not fully recovered from the impacts of the pandemic, the BOJ “deems it necessary to conduct monetary easing and thereby firmly support the economy”.

    On Friday, the S&P 500 reversed a 0.7-per-cent loss to close 0.6 per cent higher, at 3,844.82.

    With one week left of trading in 2022, the benchmark index is down 19.3 per cent for the year.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5 per cent to 33,203.93, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq edged 0.2 per cent higher, to 10,497.86.

    Small company stocks also rose. The Russell 2000 index picked up 0.4 per cent to 1,760.93.

    Mixed economic news weighed on stocks early on, but the indexes rebounded by late afternoon amid relatively light trading ahead of the long holiday weekend.

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