Asia markets stay closed for Lunar New Year

Multiple major stock markets in Asia remained closed for the Lunar New Year holidays, deferring trade.

In the meantime, the Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 1.68%, closing at 27,533.60. The Topix index gained 2.14% to close at 1,936.56. On Tuesday, the Hang Seng declined 1.15% to close at 30,510.48, while the Kospi advanced 0.47% to close at 2,043.46.

Australia’s S&P/ASX closed for the Lunar New Year holidays on Tuesday and will remain closed for the next two days. The Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged in its final policy decision of the year on Tuesday. Governor Philip Lowe reiterated in a speech on Wednesday that the central bank doesn’t see any need to move on interest rates at the moment. The Australian economy is on track for its longest expansion since the 1980s, expanding by 3.1%.

The S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.17% in Australia to finish the trading day at 7,087.70.

Lowe said that he recognizes that an increase in the policy rate in several other countries followed the ending of the bond purchase program. He noted that their lower inflation rate and low wages growth are the main reasons they don’t need to move in lockstep with others.

In India, the Nifty 50 accumulated 0.8% while the BSE Sensex increased 0.94%, as of 11:39 a.m. local time.

MSCI’s broadest index shares outside Japan traded 0.38% higher.

Lunar New Year and the stock market

Markets in mainland China, Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong appeared closed on Wednesday for the Lunar New Year holidays.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 273.38 points to 35,405.25, while the S&P 500 rose 0.68% to 4,546.55. The Nasdaq Composite bounded 0.76% higher to 14,347.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index was at 96.274 after falling from above 98 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.77 per dollar. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7135 after rising from below $0.703 earlier in the trading week.

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