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Asian stocks mixed ahead of central bank news; Nikkei up 0.47%

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Shutterstock photo - Asian stocks are mixed in Thursday trade as traders are awaiting a spate of monetary policy from various global central banks later today.

In Asian trading Thursday, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.47% ahead of the conclusion of the Bank of Japan's two-day meeting. Shares of Japanese exporters advanced despite USD/JPY trading lower.

Markets do not appear to be pricing in any surprises from BoJ today, but there is speculation a new monetary easing program could be unveiled following the conclusion of the central bank's next meeting in early April.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng inched up 0.08% while the Shanghai Composite added 0.01%. On Wednesday, billionaire property developer Vincent Lo said previous property curbs employed by China to cool hot housing markets have proved unsuccessful.

Earlier this month China raised down payment requirements and interest rates on borrowers applying for second mortgages in an effort to stunt a possible housing bubble.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.4% after a report released earlier today showed the nation's trade deficit widened more than economists expected. The country's trade deficit widened to AUD1.06 billion in January from AUD688 million in December. Economists expected a January deficit of AUD500 million.

On Wednesday, official data showed that Australia's GDP rose 0.6% in the fourth quarter, in line with expectations. The rate of expansion in the third quarter GDP was revised up to 0.7% from 0.5%. Australian stocks were lead lower today by financial services firms.

New Zealand stocks were not weighed down by the slack performance of their Aussie counterparts as the NZSE 50 advanced 0.88%.

South Korea's Kospi slid 0.84% due to weakness in shares of conglomerate and electronics giant Samsung. Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 0.02%. S&P 500 futures are off 0.10% percent at this writing after the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to another record high during Wednesday's U.S. trading session. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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