Asia-Pacific stocks rise; India’s interest rate decision ahead

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Wednesday morning trade as investors look ahead to the Reserve Bank of India’s latest interest rate decision expected later today.

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 Wednesday — an improvement over the initial estimate of a 1% contraction.

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

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.19% higher.

The Reserve Bank of India is set to announce its latest interest rate decision later on Wednesday. That comes on the back of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s surprise 50 basis points rate hike on Tuesday.

Overnight stateside, 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 U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 102.402 after a recent decline from levels above 102.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 132.75 per dollar, weaker than levels below 132 seen against the dollar yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7222 following yesterday’s bounce from levels below $0.72.

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

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