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Asian stocks mixed following Cyprus news; Hang Seng up 0.68%

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Investing.com - Asian stocks are mixed at this hour as traders mull the consequences of Cyprus rejecting a plan to tax the nation's bank deposits.

In Asian trading Wednesday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.68% while the Shanghai Composite jumped 1.54%. Japanese markets are closed today in observance of a public holiday, but USD/JPY is currently lower by 0.17% at 95.02, off the lows of the session.

Late Tuesday, Cypriot policymakers rejected the highly unpopular plan that would tax bank deposits in the country of less than EUR100,000 at a rate of 6.75% and deposits north of that amount at a rate of 9.9%. The vote casts doubt on the ability of the country to secure bailout funding and has prompted fears Cyprus could go bankrupt and be forced out of the euro zone.

While Cyprus has rejected one plan, some market participants expect another plan will be forthcoming as European policymakers do not want to tempt fate and risk the departure of any of the euro zone member states.

Pacific Investment Management Company, also known as PIMCO, has reportedly reduced its exposure to euro-denominated investments. One member of the firm's investment committee told one media outlet that the situation in Cyprus has significant implications for foreign investors in Europe. California-based PIMCO is the world's largest bond manager.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.60% as mining shares continued to be a drag. The U.S. listed shares of BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company by market value, have plunged nearly 11% in the past month.

New Zealand's NZSE 50 rose 0.26% even after Statistics New Zealand said that New Zealand's current account balance fell to a seasonally adjusted NZD-3.26 billion in the fourth quarter from NZD-4.42 billion in the third quarter. Analysts expected a fourth-quarter reading of NZD-3 billion.

South Korea's Kospi fell 0.29% while Singapore's Straits Times Index dropped 0.24%. S&P 500 futures are lower by 0.14%. The benchmark U.S. index has declined for three consecutive sessions.

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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.


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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