Asian shares trade mixed following release of Fed minutes


Asian markets were mixed on Thursday, following slight gains seen stateside after the release of the Federal Reserve’s latest minutes.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.47 percent, extending losses of more than 270 points in the last session on the firmer yen. The broader Topix traded lower by around the same level, with declines seen in financials and materials.

Autos were broadly lower, as were other major exporters, with Honda Motor falling 1.18 percent and Toyota Motor sliding 1.48 percent.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.17 percent, with the heavily weighted financials subindex dragging the index lower. National Australia Bank fell 1.22 percent, leading losses among the country’s “Big Four” banks.

South Korea’s benchmark Kospi, however, bucked the downward trend to edge higher by 0.24 percent in the early going.

MSCI’s index of shares in Asia Pacific excluding Asia was little changed, last drifting 0.01 percent above the flat line.

On Wednesday, U.S. stocks finished the last session with slight gains after the Federal Reserve said in its minutes that it was comfortable with inflation temporarily running above their target of 2 percent.

The minutes from the Fed’s latest meeting in May showed officials at the central bank generally thought inflation would continue to rise, but differences arose over how confident the Fed should be after years of undershooting. Still, there appeared to be agreement that allowing the economy to rev up a little would be appropriate.

The Dow had initially started the session lower after U.S. President Donald Trump said the current framework used in trade talks with China was “too hard to get done.” That came after Trump’s Tuesday comment that he was “not satisfied” with recent negotiations with China.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, last stood at 93.878 at 8:03 a.m. HK/SIN after trading as high as 94.188 overnight following the release of the Fed’s minutes. Against the yen, the dollar was softer at 109.86.

Meanwhile, the Turkish lira got some relief after the country’s central bank raised interest rates by 300 bps overnight. The currency had fallen around 20 percent this year, according to Reuters.

On the corporate front, full-year earnings from Lenovo are expected later in the day.

Ahead, South Korea’s central bank is expected to announce its interest rate decision at 9:00 a.m. HK/SIN.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.


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