Equity markets in Australia pared earlier gains after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) chose to put off a cut in interest rates , keeping borrowing costs steady at a record low of 2.25 percent on Tuesday. In other parts of Asia, stocks advanced on the back of an inspiring lead from Wall Street overnight.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is also scheduled to meet today, with economists split over whether the central bank will cut interest rates for the third time in four months. The Nifty index and BSE Sensex (Hong Kong Stock Exchange: 2836-HK) index traded at two-and-a-half-week highs in early trade.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) kicks off its two-day monthly policy meeting today.
Overnight, U.S. stocks closed higher as a disappointing jobs report renewed hopes of a delayed increase in interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed up 0.7 percent, respectively, while the Nasdaq finished 0.6 percent higher.
ASX gains 0.5%
Australia’s S&P ASX 200 (^AXJO) index halved gains following the monetary policy decision, while the Australian dollar (Exchange:USDAUD=) surged more than 1 U.S. cent to $ 0.7673, from $ 0.7599 against the U.S. dollar.
Earlier in the session, the benchmark index scaled to a two-week intra-day high on its first trading day since being shuttered on Good Friday.
Banks pared gains immediately, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA-AU) dipping its toes into negative territory, slipping 0.2 percent. National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB-AU) notched up 0.9 percent rally, while Australia and New Zealand Banking (ASX:ANZ-AU) and Westpac (ASX:WBC-AU) tread near the flatline.
Among the resources sector, energy and gold-related plays outperformed on the back of stronger gold and oil prices . Endeavor Mining and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN-AU) bolstered 3.2 and 2.3 percent each, while Santos and Oil Search (ASX:OSH-AU) surged nearly 3 percent, respectively.
Read More Aussie on tenterhooks ahead of RBA meeting
Nikkei rises 1.2%
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index touched a one-week high, with energy and financial counters leading advances.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 8316.T-JP) advanced 3.1 and 1.3 percent, respectively, while Inpex (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 1605.T-JP) and JX Holdings (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 5020.T-JP) climbed 3.9 and 3.6 percent each.
Toshiba rose 0.6 percent, reversing a brief negative open, as markets monitored ts accounting probe. Loss-making electronics maker Sharp, which is reportedly planning to spin off its LCD panel business, charged up 2 percent.
Shanghai Comp up 1.8%
China’s Shanghai Composite (Shanghai Stock Exchange: .SSEC) index bounced up to its highest level since March 2008 following a three-day weekend.
Among top gainers, train makers CSR (Shanghai Stock Exchange: 1766-SZ) and China CNR (Shanghai Stock Exchange: 1299-SZ) rose by the daily maximum allowable 10 percent. Banking stocks also contributed to the upswing; China Construction Bank (Shanghai Stock Exchange: 1939-SZ), Bank of Communications (Shanghai Stock Exchange: 1328-SZ) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Shanghai Stock Exchange: 1398-SZ) were up more than 2 percent each.
Markets in Hong Kong remain closed for the Ching Ming Festival.
Read More China pressures small miners as iron ore slides
South Korea’s Kospi index climbed down from a six-month intra-day high as its heaviest-weighted stock Samsung Electronics (Korea Stock Exchange: 593-KR), which released its guidance on first-quarter results earlier in the session, crept down into neutral territory.
The South Korean tech giant forecast operating profit of 5.9 trillion won ($ 5.43 billion) for the January-March period, above expectations of 5.3 trillion won in a Reuters poll, but down sharply from 8.5 trillion a year earlier. The guidance, released ahead of full quarterly results due later this month, also tipped revenue of 47 trillion won for first quarter, below expectations of 49.8 trillion.
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