Bank of Japan monetary policy decision, currencies, oil

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Thursday trade as investors await the Bank of Japan’s latest monetary policy announcement.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.88% while the Topix index shed 0.65%. Retail sales in Japan fell 0.6% in September from a year earlier, according to government data released Thursday.

The Bank of Japan is also set to announce its latest monetary policy decision on Thursday. The central bank is expected to hold steady on policy, according to Reuters.

Mainland Chinese stocks were also lower, with the Shanghai composite slipping about 0.6% and the Shenzhen component dipped 0.212%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 0.24%.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi traded 0.24% higher. Shares in Australia declined as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.26%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded little changed.

Brent crude futures drop 2%

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 2.12% to $82.79 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 1.9% to $81.09 per barrel.

Shares of oil firms in Asia-Pacific also declined, with Australia’s Beach Energy dropping 1.57%. In Japan, Inpex fell 2.84% while Hong Kong-listed shares of PetroChina plunged 3.87%.

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Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 266.19 points to 35,490.69 while the S&P 500 slipped about 0.51% to 4,551.68. The Nasdaq Composite was flat at 15,235.84.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.928 — still off levels around 94 seen recently.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.73 per dollar, stronger then levels above 114 seen earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7494, off levels around $0.753 seen earlier this week.

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