Asia Mixed as U.S. Fed Stands Pat

Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 57.88 points, or 0.3%, to 22,334.23.

On the economic data front, Japanese retail sales for June declined 1.2% as compared to a year ago, according to a preliminary report by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. That compared against a median market forecast for a 6.5% year-on-year decline.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.10 per U.S. dollar following its strengthening earlier in the trading week from levels above 105.3 against the greenback.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng stumbled 172.55 points, or 0.7%, to 24,710.59.

In a widely expected move, the Fed on Wednesday kept its benchmark overnight lending rate near zero.

Shares of Singapore banks tumbled in afternoon trade: DBS Group dropped 3.9% while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation fell 4.5% and United Overseas Bank slipped 3.6% The broader Straits Times index also declined more than 2%.

The moves came after the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Wednesday called on locally-incorporated banks headquartered in Singapore to "moderate" their dividends for fiscal year 2020.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7131 after seeing an earlier high of $0.719.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 22.86 points, or 0.5%, to 4,656.15.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index doffed 43.63 points, or 1.7% to 2,529.82.

In Korea, the Kospi inched up 3.85 points, or 0.2%, to 2,267.01

In Taiwan, the Taiex index popped 181.95 points, or 1.5%, to 12,722.92

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 jumped 92.58 points, or 0.8%, to 11,692.02

In Australia, the ASX 200 regained 44.7 points, or 0.7%, to 6,051.03