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Asia-Pacific Stocks Fall as Bank of Japan Holds Steady on Monetary Policy; Oil Drops Around 1%

KAZUHIRO NOGI | AFP via Getty Images
  • Shares in Asia-Pacific declined on Thursday as oil prices dropped.
  • Retail sales in Japan declined 0.6% in September from a year earlier, according to government data released Thursday.
  • The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged on Thursday while its board members cut their real GDP growth and consumer inflation forecasts for fiscal 2021.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were lower on Thursday as the Bank of Japan announced its decision to hold steady on monetary policy.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.96% to close at 28,820.09 while the Topix index shed 0.7% to 1,999.66. Retail sales in Japan fell 0.6% in September from a year earlier, according to government data released Thursday.

The Bank of Japan kept interest rate targets unchanged on Thursday and the central bank cut its real GDP growth outlook and consumer inflation forecasts for fiscal 2021.

Mainland Chinese stocks also closed lower, with the Shanghai composite slipping 1.23% to 3,518.42 and the Shenzhen component dipped 1.033% to 14,244.82. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 0.28% to end its trading day at 25,555.73.

Shares in Australia slipped as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.25%, closing at 7,430.40. Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.53% on the day to 3,009.55.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.32% lower.

Oil drops around 1%

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 0.96% to $83.77 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 0.91% to $81.91 per barrel.

Shares of oil firms in Asia-Pacific also declined, with Australia's Beach Energy dropping 2.79% while Inpex in Japan fell 3.95%. Hong Kong-listed shares of PetroChina plunged 3.61%.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.773 — still off levels around 94 seen recently.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.53 per dollar, stronger then levels above 114 seen earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7514, off levels around $0.753 seen earlier this week.

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