Asian Shares Mixed As BOK Raises Key Rates

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(RTTNews) - Asian stocks ended mixed on Thursday as inflation concerns and worries about fresh lockdowns in Europe offset optimism over data pointing to strength in the world's largest economy.

Chinese shares ended a tad lower after Kaisa Group Holdings said it wants to extend the maturity of a $400 million bond by a year-and-a-half as part of efforts to avoid a default and resolve a liquidity crisis.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index dropped 8.52 points, or 0.24 percent, to 3,584.18 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended up 54.66 points, or 0.22 percent, at 24,740.16.

Japanese stocks closed higher as investors took stock of a raft of U.S. data which included an upwards revision to third-quarter GDP.

The Nikkei average climbed 196.62 points, or 0.67 percent, to 29,499.28, while the broader Topix index closed 0.33 percent higher at 2,025.69.

High-tech issues gained ground, with heavyweight SoftBank rising 1.3 percent after U.S. technology shares advanced overnight. Uniqlo-operator Fast Retailing added 1.6 percent.

Air carrier ANA Holdings slumped 5.7 percent after announcing its decision to raise close to Y150 billion ($1.3 billion) in funds. Rival Japan Airlines lost 1.7 percent.

Australian markets ended slightly higher as miners advanced on the back of strong iron ore prices. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 edged up 7.90 points, or 0.11 percent, to 7,407.30 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 11.40 points, or 0.15 percent, at 7,736.90.

BHP, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto rose between 1 percent and 1.8 percent as iron ore futures hit a three-week high. Tech stocks also surged, with EML Payments climbing more than 31 percent after its unit received the Irish central bank's nod to sign new customers.

The big four banks fell between half a percent and 1.5 percent on expectations the Reserve Bank of Australia will likely hold a dovish stance on interest rates for quite some time.

Seoul stocks ended lower as the Bank of Korea raised interest rates for the second time since August and upgraded its 2022 inflation forecast, bolstering expectations for further policy tightening. The Kospi average dropped 14.02 points, or 0.47 percent, to 2,980.27.

New Zealand shares advanced as investors cheered Fisher & Paykel's upbeat results. Shares of the respiratory devices maker jumped 4.9 percent, while the benchmark NZX-50 index edged up 27.82 points, or 0.22 percent, to settle at 12,794.61.

New Zealand posted a merchandise trade deficit of NZ$1.286 billion in October, Statistics New Zealand said earlier today, following the downwardly revised NZ$2.206 billion shortfall in September.

U.S. stocks ended mostly higher overnight as a batch of strong economic data helped investors shrug off concerns over rising Treasury yields.

Minutes from the November Fed meeting showed members were concerned about inflation and willing to tighten policy if inflation continues to run high.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 inched up 0.2 percent while the Dow finished marginally lower.

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