Asia Mostly Down as RBNZ Hikes Rates

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly lower on Wednesday, with major indexes in Japan and South Korea leading losses regionally.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 293.25 points, or 1.1%, to 27,528.87.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.71 per U.S. dollar, weaker than levels below 111.2 seen against the greenback yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dumped 137.66, or 0.6%, to 23,966.49.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) on Wednesday raised its official cash rate to 0.5%, joining South Korea and Norway in being among the earliest countries to raise rates in the pandemic era.

Following the rate hike announcement, the New Zealand dollar briefly jumped above $0.697, before retreating from those levels and last trading at $0.6904.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7241, against an earlier high of $0.7295.

Markets in mainland China were closed for holiday.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex skidded 67.59 points, or 0.4%, to 16,393.16.

In Korea, the Kospi index doffed 53.86 points, or 1.8%, to 2,908.31

In Singapore, the Straits Times moved up 15.76 points, or 0.5%, to 2,908.31

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 lost 33.55 points, or 0.3%, to 13,166.44

In Australia, the ASX 200 subtracted 41.81 points, or 0.6%, at 7,206.55