(MENAFN- FxPro) Shares in Asia traded mixed on Thursday as investors noted a calmer tone in the morning session with the latest Federal Reserve statement out of the way.
The Nikkei 225 rose 1.36%, while the Shanghai Composite eased 0.04%. The S&P ASX/200 rose 0.80% and the Hang Seng index fell 0.07%.
In Asia, a fairly busy day saw Australia June building approvals down 8.2%, much further than the 0.8% fall month-on-month seen, while import prices rose 1.4%, just below an expectation for a 1.5% quarter-on-quarter rise and export prices fell 4.4%, compared to an expected fall of 4.0%.
In Japan, June preliminary industrial output rose 0.8% month-on-month, well above the 0.3% increase seen.
BoJ board member Koji Ishida board told a business group Thursday that there needs to be vigilance on the economy.
"There is no excessive activity and big financial imbalances," Ishida said in a speech to business leaders in Kyoto City. "But we have to keep a close eye on the risk that easy policy will overheat financial and economic activities and increase risks in the financial system without preconceptions."
Earlier in New Zealand, June building consents fell 4.1% month-on-month compared to an expectation of a 2.5% gain. In May approvals were flat.
Overnight, U.S. stocks moved broadly higher on Wednesday extending gains from the previous session, as a relatively dovish Federal Reserve kept short-term interest rates unchanged and offered almost no hints that lift-off could be forthcoming in the fall.
As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee kept its Federal Funds Rate at its current rate between zero and 0.25% on Wednesday, leaving its benchmark short-term rate unchanged for the 53rd consecutive meeting. Nearly a decade has passed since the Fed last hiked interest rates.
The Fed reiterated that it would like to see improvements in the labor market and inflation moved toward its targeted goal of 2% before it starts to raise rates.
"The labor market continued to improve, with solid job gains and declining unemployment," the FOMC said in its July monetary policy statement. "The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen some further improvement in the labor market." In June, the U.S. unemployment rate declined 0.2% to 5.3%.
The major indices wavered following the announcement, before rallying near the close of trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 40 points to above 17,760 in the minutes following the release, before quickly falling back near 17,710, its pre-announcement level, minutes later.
From there, the Dow climbed steadily for the rest of the session closing at 17,751.39, up 121.12 or 0.69% for the day. The NASDAQ Composite index and S&P 500 Composite also posted solid gains after the release on a bullish day for U.S. markets.
The NASDAQ added 22.52 or 0.44% to 5,111.73, bolstered by strong gains among tech stocks while the S&P 500 gained 15.32 or 0.73% to 2,108.57. For the session, all 10 sectors closed in the green as stocks in the Energy and Industrials industries led.
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