Japan (BBN)-Asian shares traded mixed on Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of two key central bank meetings.
The Bank of Japan will wrap up its two-day policy meeting, with markets mostly expecting it to withhold further easing measures, reports BBC.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is expected to announce quantitative easing measures on Thursday.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was down 0.5% to 17,273.78 after jumping more than 2% in the previous session.
The yen stepped back further from a one-month high of 115.85 to the dollar hit last week to trade at 118.69.
Shares in Sharp fell 0.9% after media reports that it would slash production of its liquid crystal display panels for smartphones on slowing sales in China and intense price competition.
Chinese shares opened higher a day after the country’s annual growth figure for 2014 came in above market expectations.
In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng was up 0.4% to 24,040.42 points, while on the mainland the Shanghai Composite was 0.3% higher at 3,182.47.
Australia leads gains
Australian shares led the region’s gains after a survey that consumer sentiment had rebounded in January thanks to falling fuel prices.
The Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank index rose a seasonally adjusted 2.4% in January after a 5.7% drop in December.
The S&P/ASX 200 was 1.3% higher at 5,378.2 points.In South Korea, shares were lower after data showed that exports fell sharply in the first 20 days of the year from a year ago.
Exports dropped 9%, while imports slumped 10.6%, government figures showed.
The benchmark Kospi index was down 0.1% to 1,916.07.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019