World News

Asia Pacific shares rise as Fed retains charges steady


SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific stocks rose in trading Thursday morning after the US Federal Reserve left its key rate near zero.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.56% in early trading while the Topix index rose 0.43%.

Softbank Group shares in Japan rose 2.31%. The Japanese conglomerate is selling about a third of its stake in rideshare Uber to cover losses on its investment in Chinese ridesharing service Didi, two people familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Elsewhere, the South Korean Kospi rose 0.31% while the S&P / ASX 200 in Australia climbed 0.29%.

MSCI’s broadest index for Asia Pacific stocks outside of Japan traded 0.25% higher.

Looking ahead, Hong Kong markets will be monitored by investors for signs of further rebound from the more than 8% defeat of the Hang Seng Index for two days earlier this week.

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Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 127.59 points to 34,930.93 while the S&P 500 remained little changed at 4,400.64. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7% to 14,762.58.

The Federal Open Committee ended its two-day meeting by keeping interest rates in a target range between zero and 0.25%.

Fed chief Jerome Powell said the US Federal Reserve is far from considering a rate hike despite optimism about the US economy.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its competitors, came in at 92.256 after a recent drop of around 92.7.

The Japanese yen was trading at 109.84 per dollar, weaker than below 109.8 at the beginning of the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7377, up from below $ 0.736 earlier this week.

Oil prices changed little on the morning of Asian trading hours, with Brent crude oil futures largely unchanged at $ 74.73 a barrel. US crude oil futures were slightly lower at $ 72.36 a barrel.

– CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.