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Nintendo surged on Super Mario as Asian markets traded mixed on Thursday while investors weighed what the Fed's Beige Book means for U.S. interest rates.
Japan-listed Nintendo shares surged 13.2 percent after news that the "Super Mario Run" mobile game will be available on Apple's app store in December. The U.S.-listed shares of Nintendo jumped more than 28 percent Wednesday after the announcement.
Nintendo's stock "has stabilized from its initial exuberance following the launch of Pokemon Go, but the fact remains that Nintendo is on the cusp of a major product cycle in both consoles and smartphones," said Han Joon Kim, research analyst at Deutsche Bank, in a Thursday report.
"In coming months, we expect to see the fruits of Nintendo's R&D efforts and are excited at the prospect of Nintendo delivering a strong market share share recovery with it," he added.
Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.32 percent, or 53.67 points, at 16,958.77 as the yen remained relatively strong.
Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 finished down 0.71 percent, or 38.45 points, at 5,385.8. The benchmark's energy subindex shed 1.38 percent, the materials subindex lost 1.43 percent and the heavily-weighted financial subindex fell 0.44 percent.
In Hong Kong, the was up 0.72 percent during Asian trade. South Korea's benchmark Kospi closed up slightly at 0.09 percent, or 1.85 points, at 2,063.73.
The Beige Book, a key indicator of the U.S. economic health and closely watched by the Federal Reserve, showed moderate wage growth in coming months. Despite the labor market nearing full employment, broad-based wage pressures have so far been slow to pick up. But if wages start to rise, that would push up inflation in the months ahead and likely spur the Fed into action.
"Despite the hawkish tone of Fed officials, bets for a September hike have eased to 32 percent on last Friday's lower-than-expected U.S. nonfarm payrolls, and to 22 percent yesterday after the disappointing ISM non-manufacturing report on Tuesday and yesterday's Fed Beige Book striking a modest and moderate tone on the outlook for the U.S. economy and inflation," said analysts from DBS group research in a daily note.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was trading at 94.843 at 3:22 p.m. HK/SIN, down from levels above 96 last week before the release of disappointing U.S. economic data.
On the regional data front, China's released stronger-than-expected trade data in August, as yuan-denominated exports rose 5.9 percent in August from a year earlier, while yuan-denominated imports rose 10.8 percent.
The Australian dollar rose to $0.7714 at 3:22 pm HK/SIN time after China's trade data, from around $0.7664 prior to the release. China is a key market for Australian commodities.
Japan revised its second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth up to 0.7 percent year-on-year, compared with the initial estimate of 0.2 percent.
Australia saw its trade deficit narrow to A$2.4 billion ($1.84 billion) in July, with the value of exports rising 3 percent and imports remaining unchanged. The deficit figure was lower than analysts' expectations of A$2.7 billion ($2.07 billion), Reuters reported.
The dollar was fetching 101.54 yen in Asian trade, compared with the dollar/yen pair trading above 103 last week before the market began to dial back expectations for the Fed to hike rates in September.
"The yen strength over the past 24 hours has been driven by a report published yesterday, noting that the Bank of Japan is struggling to reach policy consensus ahead of its policy meeting on 21 September," said Rodrigo Catril, FX strategist at National Australia Bank, in a Thursday note.
Oil prices jumped in the U.S. Wednesday session, after American Petroleum Institute data showed the largest weekly stock declines in nationwide crude inventories in over 30 years. U.S. crude futures were trading up 1.85 percent at $46.34 a barrel, while Brent futures added 1.48 percent to $48.70 during Asian trade.
The European Central Bank has a monetary policy meeting and the U.S. jobless claims were due later in the global day.
On Wall Street on Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average finished down 0.06 percent at 18526.14, while the S&P 500 ended effectively flat at 2186.16. The Nasdaq composite was the exception among the majors, edging up 0.15 percent to 5283.93, which was a fresh intraday and closing record.
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