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Asia Mostly Higher, RBNZ Raises Rates

New Zealand raised its cash rate by another 50 basis points to 3%, the latest in a series of interest rate hikes in an effort to curb inflation.

Elsewhere, Japan stocks surged following better-than-expected export figures and Australian wages rose.

The Nikkei 225 leaped 353.86 points, or 1.2%, to 29,222.77, after the country reported better-than-expected exports growth for July compared with a year ago.

Its exports growth of 19% beat the 18.2% expected by analysts in a Refinitiv poll, driven by a strong recovery in car exports.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 91.93 points, or 0.5%, to 19,922.45.

Korean stocks moved lower, likely due to some profit taking among the major stocks. Among the big losses at market close were Hyundai Motor at 3.8%, Kia at 4% and Seah Steel Holdings at 2.8%.

In Australia, the biggest winners were bank stocks, coal producer Whitehaven Coal and media corporation Seven West Media.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 fell 7.84 points, or 0.2%, to 4,177.84.

Chinese food delivery giant Meituan shares have risen 3.3%. The move marks a rebound from the 9% plunge Tuesday, which followed a report that Tencent is planning to sell the majority of its $24-billion stake in the company.

Ahead of its second quarter earnings release, Tencent shares were flat.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex gained 44.38 points, or 0.3%, to 15,465.45.

In Korea, the Kospi index dropped 17.05 points, or 0.7%, to 2,516.47

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index recovered 8.97 points, or 0.3%, to 3,262.78.

In Australia, the ASX 200 added 22.3 points, or 0.3%, to 7,127.68.

In New Zealand, the NZX eked up 5.77 points, or 0.1%, to 11,852.93