Asia Mixed on U.S. Fed Rate Cut

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the third time this year and indicated the possibility of a pause in easing monetary policy.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index regained 83.92 points, or 0.4%, to 22,927.04, with shares of index heavyweight Softbank Group surging 3.7%.

The Bank of Japan announced Thursday that it would be keeping monetary policy steady, but signaled in its forward guidance a readiness to cut rates if required.

In Japan, Sharp’s stock advanced 1.5% and Kyocera added 1.5% while Taiyo Yuden fell 1.2%.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.67 against the U.S. dollar after strengthening from levels above 109.2 in the previous session.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index restored 239.01 points, or 0.9%, to 26,906.72

Hong Kong-listed shares of Sunny Optical surged 8% while AAC Technologies jumped 3.4%, as of their final hour of trading.

In Korea, Samsung Electronics reported earnings that were better than guidance given by the firm earlier in October. Operating profit for the three months ending in September plunged 56% as compared to the same period a year ago. Its shares ended their trading day flat after jump more than 1% during the session after the earnings release.

LG Display gained 1.1%, while Largan Precision shares in Taipei rose 3.5%.

Australian markets lost ground, with the heavily weighted financial sub-index down 1.11% as shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group tumbled 3.3% after the firm announced that its statutory profit after tax for the full year had plunged 7% year-on-year.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6921 after rising from levels below $0.688 yesterday.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 4.48 points, or 0.1%, to 3,886.75

China reported Thursday that factory activity in the country contracted for the sixth straight month in October. The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 49.3 for October.

In September, the official manufacturing PMI was 49.8, according to the country’s statistics bureau. The 50 level for PMI readings separates expansion from contraction.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex removed 21.57 points, or 0.2%, to 11,358.71

In Korea, the Kospi recovered 3.21 points, or 0.2%, to 2,083.48

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained 21.96 points, or 0.7%, to 3,229.88

In Australia, the ASX 200 faded 26.11 points, or 0.4%, to 6,663.38

In New Zealand, the NZX dipped 1.72 points to 10,787.82