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Shares in Asia-Pacific nudge higher; New Zealand central bank hikes rates again


SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific appeared set for a lower start on Wednesday following a overnight tech sell-off on Wall Street as investors fled social media stocks.

In Japan markets, the Nikkei futures contract in Osaka was at 26,690, lower compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 26,748.14.

Australian stocks looked poised for a muted start, with the SPI futures contract at 7,130, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,128.80.

Looking ahead, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is set to announce its interest rate decision at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday. Most of the economists polled by Reuters expect the New Zealand central bank to hike its official cash rate by 50 basis points again.

The New Zealand dollar changed hands at $0.6458 ahead of that announcement, still above the $0.637 that it was below at previous sessions last week.

Overnight on Wall Street, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped 2.35% to 11,264.45 after a warning from Snap CEO about slowing growth at the company was made public and sent investors fleeing social media stocks.

The S&P 500 dipped 0.81% to 3,941.48. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48.38 points, or 0.15%, to 31,928.62.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 101.857 having recently declined from above 102.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 126.84 per dollar, stronger than levels above 127 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7111 following a recent bounce from levels below $0.708.

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