Asia Shares Mixed, RBNZ Hikes Rates

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday, with New Zealand’s central bank announcing yet another rate hike.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 70.34 points, or 0.3%, to 26,677.80.

The Japanese yen traded at 127.03 per U.S. dollar, weaker than an earlier high of 126.63 against the greenback.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index recovered 59.17 points, or 0.3%, to 20,171.27.

Shares of dual-listed Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong fell pm Wednesday: Alibaba declined 1.5% while and Baidu each slipped about 1.5%.

Those losses came after comments from a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission official on Tuesday that “time is running out” in negotiations between U.S. and Chinese authorities regarding audit inspections. Baidu and are among Chinese firms placed by the SEC on a list of companies that face potential de-listings stateside.

Singapore reported first-quarter GDP that grew 3.7% year-on-year, higher than the 3.4% expansion seen in the government’s advance estimate.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced Wednesday its decision to hike its official cash rate by 50 basis points to 2%, a decision expected by most of the economists polled by Reuters.

The New Zealand dollar changed hands at $0.6474 U.S. following the rate hike announcement, bouncing after seeing an earlier low of $0.6418.

This latest rate hike would be the country’s fifth in a row.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7086, off its earlier high of $0.7119.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 24.03 points, or 0.6%, to 3,983.18.

In Taiwan, the Taiex restocked 140.4 points, or 0.9%, to 16,104.03

In Korea, the Kospi index grabbed 11.35 points, or 0.4%, to 2,617.22.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dipped 15.46 points, or 0.5%, to 3,179.58

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 descended 73.66 points, or 0.7%, to 11,173.37.

In Australia, the ASX 200 strengthened 26.41 points, or 0.4%, to 7,155.24.