Asia Pacific Stocks Rise; India Interest Rate Decision Upcoming

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose on Wednesday morning as investors anticipate the latest interest rate decision from the Reserve Bank of India due later in the day.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan advanced 0.75% while the Topix index climbed 0.62%.

Japan’s economy shrank an annualized 0.5% in the first quarter, revised government data showed on Wednesday – an improvement from the initial estimate of a 1% contraction.

The South Korean Kospi gained 0.34%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.51%.

MSCI’s broadest Asia Pacific ex-Japan equity index traded up 0.19%.

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The Reserve Bank of India is expected to announce its latest interest rate decision later on Wednesday. This follows the Reserve Bank of Australia’s surprise 50 basis point rate hike on Tuesday.

In the U.S. overnight, the S&P 500 climbed 0.95% to 4,160.68. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 264.36 points, or 0.8%, to 33,180.14. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.94% to 12,175.23.

Currencies and Oil

The The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 102.402 after falling recently from levels above 102.5.

The Japanese yen was trading at 132.75 to the dollar, weaker than the sub-132 levels seen against the dollar yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7222 after yesterday’s rebound from levels below $0.72.

Oil prices were higher in morning trading hours in Asia, with international benchmark Brent futures up 0.12% at $120.72 a barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.18% to $119.62 a barrel.

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