Asian stocks close mostly higher after Japanese central bank maintains monetary policy

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Asian stock markets closed mostly higher on Wednesday (18), with Tokyo jumping more than 2%, after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) left its monetary policy unchanged, dispelling speculation that it would tighten credit conditions amid to inflationary pressures.

The Japanese Nikkei index rose 2.50% in Tokyo, at 26,791.12 points, in the wake of the BoJ’s decision, while the yen weakened markedly against the dollar.

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There were fears that the BoJ could further widen the 10-year Japanese government bond (JGB) rate range after the December adjustment, which did not materialize.

At a press conference, BoJ President Haruhiko Kuroda said he was not considering a further expansion of the range.

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About a month ago, the BoJ unexpectedly set a new oscillation range for the 10-year JGB of -0.50% to 0.50%, sparking speculation that the Japanese central bank is preparing the ground to start tightening its monetary policy.

The previous range was -0.25% to 0.25%.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite was stable, at 3,224.41 points, while the less comprehensive Shenzhen Composite had a modest gain of 0.18%, at 2,097.95 points.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng advanced 0.47%, to 21,678.00 points.

Contrary to the positive bias of Asia, the South Korean Kospi fell 0.47% in Seoul, at 21,678.00 points, pressured by financial and defense actions. In Taiwan, there was no business today due to a local holiday.

In Oceania, the Australian stock exchange was slightly in the blue, up 0.10% from the S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney, at 7,393.40 points.

Source: CNN Brasil

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