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Asia Mostly Higher Ahead of Central Bank Decisions

Asia-Pacific markets were largely up ahead of central bank decisions this week, with investors also awaiting inflation numbers from the U.S. and China.

The Nikkei 225 Index recovered 354.96 points, or 0.9%, to 39,347.04.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 8.93 points, or 0.1%, to 16,732.85.

The Bank of Korea and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, have their monetary policy meetings scheduled this week.

S&P Global expects all four banks to hold their rates steady, but also added in its note that “the Bank of Korea may be amongst [banks] which [are] close to lowering rates and the rhetoric will be in focus.” The BOK was among one of the earliest Asian banks to halt its rate tightening cycle in 2023.

Later in the week, U.S. and China inflation numbers will be in focus, with China also releasing trade data for March on Friday.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 index dumped 31.39 points, or 0.9%, to 3,536.41.

In Korea, the Kospi index eked ahead 3.44 points, or 0.1%, to 2,717.65.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index shed 2.27 points, or 0.1%, to 3,215.99.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 lost 38.65 points, or 0.3%, to 11,973.59.

In Australia, the ASX 200 regained 15.81 points, or 0.2%, to 7,789.08.