Markets Right Now: Asia shares mixed on BOJ stimulus watch


NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on financial markets. All times local.

10:00 p.m.

Asian shares are mixed as investors await the outcome of a policy meeting by Japan’s central bank that is expected to result in more stimulus for the world’s third-largest economy.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1.6 percent to 17,560.56 while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.6 percent at 5,282.20.

U.S. crude oil has lost 18 cents to $45.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude is down 51 cents at $46.67.

The dollar has weakened against the euro and is trading at $1.1309 versus $1.1325. It gained against the Japanese yen, trading at 111.68 yen, up from 111.52 yen on Wednesday.

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4:00 p.m.

Stocks closed mostly higher on Wall Street, but the gains were checked by weakness in the technology sector.

Energy stocks were among the biggest winners Wednesday as the price of oil rose. High-dividend stocks like phone companies and utilities also did well as bond yields moved lower, making those sectors more appealing to investors seeking income.

Technology shares turned lower, pulled down by a 6 percent drop in Apple after the company reported a drop in iPhone sales and its first decline in revenue in more than a decade.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 51 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,041.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose three points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,095. The Nasdaq composite dropped 25 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,863.

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12 p.m.

European stock markets have eked out some modest gains as traders await the latest policy statements from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan.

Both banks will have made their announcements before European markets reopen on Thursday so there’s seemingly some hope among investors in Europe that something positive will emerge.

Investors will be monitoring to see if the Fed indicates whether an interest rate hike in June is more likely and whether the Bank of Japan announces further stimulus measures.

Among the major indexes, Germany’s DAX closed 0.4 percent higher at 10,299.83 while the CAC-40 in France rose 0.6 percent to 4,559.40. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares ended 0.6 percent higher at 6,319.91.

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11:45 a.m.

U.S. stocks indexes are mostly lower in midday trading as weakness in the technology sector pulls the broader market down.

Apple sank 6 percent Wednesday a day after reporting its first revenue decline in 13 years, while Twitter plunged 14 percent after issuing a disappointing outlook.

Utility companies rose as bond yields fell, making the sector less appealing to investors seeking income.

Energy companies moved higher along with the price of oil.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 12 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 18,003.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,089. The Nasdaq composite dropped 39 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,848.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.90 percent.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks indexes are mostly lower in early trading as weakness in the technology sector pulls the broader market lower.

Apple sank 7 percent Wednesday a day after reporting its first quarterly revenue decline in 13 years, while Twitter plunged 16 percent after reporting revenue that fell short of forecasts and issuing a disappointing outlook.

Energy companies bucked the downward trend and moved higher along with the price of crude oil. Diamond Offshore Drilling gained 4 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,978.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was little changed at 2,091. The Nasdaq composite dropped 23 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,863.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.90 percent.

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11:00 a.m.

European stocks are subdued and Wall Street is expected to dip on the open, as investors await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s statement after its latest policy meeting.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is down 0.3 percent at 6,268.63 while Germany’s DAX is up 0.1 percent to 10,267.21. France’s CAC 40 also edged 0.1 percent higher, to 4,538.12. Dow and S&P futures are both down 0.3 percent.

Investors are monitoring volatility in oil prices, where the New York rate this week hit the highest level since November, as well as the Fed’s meeting.

The Fed is expected to leave its policies unchanged later today at the end of its policy meeting. But traders will look for any comment about the likelihood of a rate hike at its next meeting in June.

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5:30 a.m.

Asian stocks are mostly lower Wednesday as an overnight surge in oil prices raises questions about the outlook for the energy sector.

Investors are watching for the outcome of policy meetings by the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan. The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, while the Bank of Japan could take new steps to stimulate Japan’s economy.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.4 percent to 17,290.49. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4 percent to 21,312.12. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.4 percent to 2,953.89. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed early gains, slipping 0.6 percent to 5,253.50.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 50 cents to $44.54 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, added 58 cents to $46.32.

The euro rose to $1.1307 from $1.1297 on Tuesday. The dollar fell to 111.17 yen from 111.32 yen.