Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; South Korea's rate decision ahead

  • Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed on Thursday, as U.S. stocks again surged to record highs.
  • South Korea's central bank is set to release its interest rate decision on Thursday. Analysts expect it will hike its rate — making it the first developed economy to do so in the pandemic era.
  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq surged to record highs.

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in early trade on Thursday, as U.S. markets again surged to record highs. Meanwhile, investors look ahead to the Bank of Korea's upcoming rate decision.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.36%, while the Topix edged up 0.14%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.31%.

Over in South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.36%.

South Korea's central bank is set to release its interest rate decision on Thursday. Analysts expect it will hike its rate — making it the first developed economy to do so in the pandemic era.

"The virus situation in Korea has deteriorated since the central bank's July meeting, when it gave strong signals that tightening was imminent," Capital Economics wrote in a recent note.

"However, the economy has become increasingly resilient to outbreaks, as businesses have learned to live with the virus," it said, adding that surging household debt and rising home prices are adding to financial stability issues.

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U.S. stocks climbed again overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39.24 points, or 0.1%, to 35,405.50. The S&P 500 added 0.2% to a new closing high of 4,496.19. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.1% to 15,041.86, also a new closing high.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, dropped to 92.819, off levels above 93 earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.01, weakening from the 109 level in recent days. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7277, a touch stronger than levels above $0.725 earlier this week.

Oil prices fell in the morning of Asia hours. International benchmark Brent crude futures declined 0.58% to $71.83 per barrel. U.S. crude futures 0.69% to $67.89.

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