Asia Up on Hints at U.S. Rate Cuts

Stocks in Asia were higher on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged overnight but opened the door to rate cuts on the horizon.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 128.99 points, or 0.6%, to 21,462.86, with shares of index heavyweight Softbank Group soaring 2.59%.

The moves in Tokyo came as the Bank of Japan kept interest rates unchanged, emphasizing global risks were rising over issues such as the ongoing trade tensions.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.69 against the U.S. dollar after touching levels around 108.6 in the previous session

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rocketed 348.29 points, or 1.2%, to 28,550.43, as shares of Chinese tech behemoth Tencent jumped 1.56%.

The moves came as the Fed left interest rates unchanged at its monetary policy meeting, in line with expectations. The U.S. central bank did, however, drop the word word “patient ” from its statement and said it would “act as appropriate” to sustain the economy.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6905 U.S. after seeing an earlier low of $0.6875.

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 added 112.58 points, or 3%, to 3,828.52

Meanwhile, on the U.S.-China trade front, hopes in Beijing appear to have risen for a trade deal between the two economic powerhouses.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Xi Jinping are set to meet at the upcoming G-20 summit in Japan, which will happen next week. Trump said talks between the “respective teams” would begin prior to that.

From levels around 6.93 earlier in the week, the offshore Chinese yuan jumped to 6.8577 against the dollar after touching an earlier high of 6.8535. Its onshore counterpart last traded at 6.8531 against the greenback, from levels around 6.92 earlier in the week.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index moved doggedly forward 6.51 points, or 0.3%, to 2,131.29

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index jumped 26.34 points, or 0.8%, to 3,314.51

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index nicked higher 9.67 points, or 0.1%, to 10,785.01

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 decreased 14.07 points, or 0.1%, to 10,290.76

In Australia, the ASX 200 picked up 39.28 points, or 0.6%, to 6,687.41