Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; investors watch tech shares after Nasdaq hits all-time high

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday morning trade, following overnight gains stateside that saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rising to a record high.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.36% in early trade while the Topix index advanced fractionally.

Minutes from the Bank of Japan’s April monetary policy meeting released Wednesday showed members agreed that stimulus measures, particularly those in advanced economies, could result in a “faster than expected” pace of recovery for Japan and other countries.

South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.27% higher. Meanwhile, shares in Australia lagged as the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.16%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.13% higher.

Technology shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Wednesday morning trade. In Japan, shares of conglomerate SoftBank Group edged 0.14% higher while South Korea’s Naver surged 6.14%.

Those gains came after the Nasdaq Composite touched a new intraday record overnight on Wall Street, climbing 0.79% on the day to 14,253.37.

The S&P 500 also gained 0.51% to 4,246.44 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 68.61 points to 33,945.58.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.733 after a recent decline from above 91.8.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 110.70 per dollar, having weakened from below 110 against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7556, staying above the $0.752 level that it has traded around for much of the trading week so far.

Oil prices nudged higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up fractionally to $74.86 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.12% to $72.94 per barrel.

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