|Rally fades in Japan|
Asian stocks were mostly higher on Thursday, with Japan moderating after its strong gains in the previous session, while Australia was reassured by comments from the chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.15 points to 14,417.53,
In Japan, the Nikkei ended flat as the index stabilized after a 3% surge on Wednesday, which was the result of a softer local currency as well as supportive comments from the Bank of Japan governor.
The yen strengthened in Asian trade, and the dollar lost hold of the ¥102 mark that helped spark the stock gains in the previous session.
The yen went as low as ¥101.86 to the U.S. dollar, compared with ¥102.23 late Wednesday in New York, but was trading at ¥102.01 late in Asia.
The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong gained 64.23 points, or 0.3%, to 22,760.24
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China rose 0.4% in Hong Kong and China Construction Bank was 0.9% higher.
Trading was thin in some markets, such as Australia and Hong Kong, that were about to enter a long Easter weekend.
In corporate news, Woodside Petroleum Ltd added 0.9% in Sydney after Australia’s second-largest oil production company reported a 16% rise in first-quarter production, though it mentioned that it continues to be frustrated in its efforts to complete a deal to buy part of a giant natural-gas discovery.
The Shanghai CSI 300 slid 7.72 points, or 0.4%, to 2,224.80
Some Chinese banks were higher after the State Council, the country’s highest decision making body, said it was cutting reserve requirement ratios for county-level rural banks that "meet certain standards," which heightened expectations that larger banks could have their ratio reduced too--a move that would give banks more money to lend.
In other markets;
Taiwan’s Taiex Index took on 20.34 points, or 0.2%, to 8.944.16
Singapore’s Straits Times Index moved higher but 0.60 points to 3,253.80
Korea’s Kospi Index faded 0.16 points to 1,992.05
The New Zealand Exchange 50 index picked up 12.80 points, or 0.3%, to 5,103.35
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 33.91 points, or 0.6%, to 5,454.23