Stocks in Asia had a mixed day on Wednesday as investors kept their eyes on several economic factors including the policy meeting of the European Central Bank. But in Japan, the weakening of the yen against the dollar could take some pressure off the country’s central bank because a stronger yen complicates easing measures.
How Asian stocks performed
Investors exited Japanese shares despite the weaker yen providing a bargain for dollar-holding investors. The Nikkei 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) shrank 0.25% relative to its previous close. The worst performers in Japan’s equity market on Wednesday were stocks in the Mining, Banking and Services sectors.
USDJPY rose 0.11% to 106.25, but EURJPY declined 0.04% to 116.90.
In China, stock trading was mixed as the Shanghai Composite Index pulled back 0.27% at the close while the smaller Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) in Hong Kong rose 0.88%.
In South Korea, the Kospi retreated 0.07% and in Taiwan the Taiwan Weighted fell 0.3%. Glass and Trading & Consumer Goods sectors drove the losses in Taiwan.
Shares in Australia closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 going up 0.69% at the close. Consumer Discretionary, Healthcare and IT sectors led the gains in Australian stocks.
A weaker AUD helped aid Aussie stocks in their rise. The AUDUSD fell 0.09% to 0.7501 and AUDJPY declined 0.06% to 79.62.
European stocks open higher
Most European major equity indices were seen higher Wednesday. France’s CAC was up 0.35% at a time when Euro Stoxx 50 was advancing 0.41% and Germany’s DAX 30 lifting 0.45%. But economists have predicted that gains in European shares will be limited as investors try to be cautious ahead of the policy meeting of the European Central Bank.
ECB officials are meeting Thursday and they are expected to discuss a path to more easing for the region’s economy. Britain’s stunning vote to ditch the European Union has rattled the region’s economies and the shockwaves are spreading abroad. More stimulus could help the region avoid going into recession at least on paper, though the longer term effects could be heavy if inflation gets out of hand at some point.