Asian shares veer away from year lows, NZ maintains rates
Asian shares crept away from near year-to-date lows on Wednesday despite Wall Street’s overnight declines. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s central bank beat expectations by not increasing interest rates as the country went into lockdown due to cases of the coronavirus’ Delta variant.
The New Zealand dollar hit a nine-month low of $0.6868 after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s decision to maintain its interest rates. However, it soon bounced back, rising to $0.6933 as investors digested projections showing policymakers still expect to increase rates over the coming months.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed up 0.45%, ending five sessions of successive declines, but still remained close to year-to-date lows hit in July.
In Asia, Chinese blue chips went up 0.66%, and the Hong Kong benchmark jumped 0.71%. Meanwhile, South Korean stocks recovered from an eight-day losing streak and made a 0.82% gain. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.57%.
Wall Street dropped overnight after retail sales came in below expectations and valuations had become increasingly stretched. The S&P 500 took a 0.71% loss after reaching a new record high on Monday.
Meanwhile, US stock futures, the S&P 500 minis, barely moved in Asian hours, inching down 0.1%.