Stocks Close Mostly Lower on BOJ Moves

Most major indexes in Asia closed lower on Thursday after the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields spiked following big news out of the Federal Reserve.

The Nikkei 225 index added 37.02 points, or 0.2%, to 20,347.48, as automakers and most financials notched gains.

Against the Japanese currency, the U.S. dollar extended gains to fetch 112.57 yen, after earlier climbing to its highest levels since mid-July.

The Hang Seng Index lost 17.47 points, or 0.1%, to 28,110.33

The Bank of Japan was also in focus after it announced Thursday it would keep monetary policy unchanged. While interest rate targets were held steady, one BOJ member opposed the decision as he said existing steps were not sufficient to achieve the inflation target

The Fed announced Wednesday it would start winding down its $4.5-trillion balance sheet in October. While the Fed left interest rates unchanged — as was widely expected — it indicated that one additional rate hike was probable this year.

In corporate news, Japan's Toshiba said Wednesday it would sell its memory chip unit to a consortium backed by Bain Capital. While Bain had brought SK Hynix in on the deal, Toshiba did not mention the South Korean chip maker in its announcement. The deal would be worth around two trillion yen ($18 billion U.S.).

Meanwhile, Western Digital said it would be commencing arbitration against Toshiba through its subsidiaries. The U.S. data storage company, which is involved in joint ventures with Toshiba, had been part of another group that had attempted to buy the Japanese conglomerate's flash memory unit. Toshiba stock retreated 1.6% by the end of the session, while SK Hynix closed up 3%

Australian markets also plummeted, with broad-based losses across most sub-indexes offsetting gains in energy stocks.

Over in Australia, Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced Thursday that it would sell all of its Australia and New Zealand life insurance business to AIA Group for A$3.8 billion ($3.04 billion U.S.). Shares of the bank gave up earlier gains to closed down 0.3% Hong Kong-listed AIA edged up 0.2%

In economic news, New Zealand's second-quarter gross domestic product rose 0.8%. GDP in the first quarter was revised to 0.6% from 0.5%.

In other markets

The CSI 300 moved down 4.62 points, or 0.1%, to 3,837.82

In Taiwan, the Taiex index restocked 59.27 points, or 0.6%, to 10,578.44

In Korea, the Kospi index doffed 5.7 points, or 0.2%, to 2,406.50

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index fell 4.25 points, or 0.1%, to 3,213.82

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 retreated 23.83 points, or 0.3%, to 7,795.41

In Australia, the ASX 200 dropped 53.67 points, or 0.9% to 5,655.42