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Asia-Pacific shares mixed; data shows Japan’s exports surging in April

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SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Thursday morning trade, with data showing Japan’s exports surging in April.

In morning trade, the Nikkei 225 rose fractionally while the Topix index edged 0.1% higher.

Japan’s exports rose 38% in April as compared with a year ago, data from the country’s Ministry of Finance showed Thursday. That was higher than an expected 30.9% increase predicted by economists in a Reuters poll.

South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.44%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5%. Australia’s jobs data for April is expected at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

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

Looking ahead, China’s latest benchmark lending rate is also set to be released, with the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) and five-year LPR expected at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN. Majority of the traders in a snap Reuters poll expected no change to either the one-year or five-year LPR.

Stocks on Wall Street saw a wild session overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing 164.62 points lower at 33,896.04 after plunging nearly 600 points at its low of the day. The S&P 500 shed 0.29% to end the trading day at 4,115.68 while the Nasdaq Composite was fractionally lower at 13,299.74.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.147 after a recent bounce from below 90.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.17 per dollar, weaker than levels below 108.8 against the greenback seen earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7735, weaker than levels above $0.78 seen earlier this week.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Australia: Employment change and unemployment rate for April at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • China: One-year loan prime rate and five-year LPR at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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