Asia-Pacific markets mostly rise as investors digest Fed’s smaller quarter-point hike

Foreign currency dealers work in a dealing room of Hana Bank in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. South Korea’s Kospi advanced as much as 1.1% on the first trading day of 2022 on foreign purchases. It’s poised for the first gain in three sessions. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images Stocks in the Asia-Pacific traded mostly higher on Thursday as investors digested the US Federal Reserve’s smaller rate hike of 25 basis points and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged inflation is falling. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.52% in its final hour of trade with the Hang Seng tech index trading flat. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.22% to 3,285.67 and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.02% to 12,131.20. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7% to end its session at 2,468.88 and the Kosdaq gained 1.82% to 764.62, as the nation’s price index roser 5.2% in the first month of 2023 on an annualized basis, ticking upward for the first time in three months, government data showed. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 traded 0.2% higher to 27,402.05 while the Topix lost 0.36% to end its session at 1,965.17. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.13% to close at 7,511.6 and the S&P/NZX 50 in New Zealand also gained 0.5% to 12,152.16.On Wall Street, traders shrugged off the Fed’s little indication that it may be nearing the end of its hiking cycle. The S&P 500 gained 1.05% higher, the Nasdaq Composite added 2%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.02%.

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