Asia-Pacific markets set for mixed start as the Fed signals easy policy will stay for now

  • Stocks in Asia-Pacific were set for a mixed start on Thursday after the S&P 500 nudged higher to a record closing high overnight.
  • Overnight, the U.S. Federal Reserve released minutes from its March meeting during which it kept its accommodative policy in place.

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SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were set to for a mixed start on Thursday after the S&P 500 nudged higher to a record closing high overnight.

Futures pointed to a mixed start for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 29,705 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 29,660. That compared against the Nikkei 225's last close at 29,730.79.

Shares in Australia were set to edge higher, with the SPI futures contract at 6,935 as compared to the S&P/ASX 200's last close at 6,928.

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose 0.15% to a new closing high of 4,079.95. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 16.02 points higher to finish its trading day at 33,446.26 while the Nasdaq Composite closed about 0.1% lower at 13,688.84.

The moves on Wall Street came as the U.S. Federal Reserve released minutes from its March meeting during which it kept its accommodative policy in place. The meeting summary indicated that while officials saw the economy was gaining considerably, they see much more progress needed before ultra-easy policy changes.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.455 following its decline earlier in the week from above 92.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.85 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110.5 against the greenback seen early this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7608, having declined from levels above $0.764 yesterday.

— CNBC's Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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