SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks in Asia on Wednesday were mixed.
In Australia, the main indices hit a high for the year. With official interest rates having been left at a historic low of 0.10 percent, and the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble having been announced (to commence 19 April), travel and hospitality stocks were in demand.
"What's really at play right now is to get a handle on which direction we're going with rates and expectations for inflation," Brad Smoling, Managing Director at Smoling Stockbroking told Reuters Thomson Wednesday.
"The Australian exchange is really sort of spinning its wheels, there's no direction to take a lead from at this stage," Smoling added.
At the close on Wednesday, the Australian All Ordinaries was ahead 43.50 points or 0.61 percent at 7,177.40.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 34.16 points or 0.12 percent to 29,730.79.
China's Shanghai Composite however dipped 3.34 points or 0.10 percent at 3,479.63.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dived 263.94 points or 0.91 percent to 28,674.80.
On forex markets, the U.S. dollar was mixed with an upwards bias. The euro was unchanged at 1.1871. The British pound slipped to 1.3799. The Japanese yen traded in a tight range at 109.83. The Swiss franc was sharply higher at 0.9297.
The Canadian dollar was slightly weaker at 1.2611. The Australian and New Zealand dollars each slipped a few points to 0.7636 and 0.7037 respectively.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones index fell 96.95 points or 0.29 percent to 33,430.24.
The Standard and Poor's 500 lost 3.97 points or 0.10 percent to 4,073.94.
The Nasdaq Composite gave up 7.21 points or 0.05 percent to 13,698.38.