Thursday November 25th


Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; Bank of Korea announces rate hike

U.S. stock markets are closed and will open on Friday for half a trading day. Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday as investors reacted to the Bank of Korea’s rate decision. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.47% to close at 2,980.27 after the Bank of Korea raised its policy rate by 25 basis points to 1%, a move that was largely expected by analysts in a Reuters poll. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index closed 0.22% higher at 24,740.16. Mainland Chinese stocks closed lower, with the Shanghai composite shedding 0.24% to 3,584.18 and the Shenzhen component falling 0.401% to 14,827.95. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.67% to close at 29,499.28 while the Topix index advanced 0.33% to 2,025.69. Oil prices ticked lower on Thursday with investors waiting to see how major producers respond to the emergency crude release by major consuming countries designed to cool the market, even as data pointed to healthy U.S. fuel demand. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 9 cents, or 0.1%, to $78.30 a barrel at 0201 GMT, extending an 11 cent loss on Wednesday. Brent crude futures slipped 5 cents to $82.20 a barrel, after losing 6 cents on Wednesday. Gold prices edged up on Thursday as the dollar eased slightly, but comments from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers suggesting the central bank could accelerate stimulus tapering weighed on the metal and kept it well below the key $1,800 mark. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,792.05 per ounce by 0137 GMT, after slipping to its lowest since Nov. 4 on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures added 0.4% to $1,791.70.