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Asia markets mixed as Bank of Japan holds rates, but adjusts YCC stance

This is CNBC's live blog covering Asia-Pacific markets.

Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda arrives to conduct an interview with a small group of journalists in Tokyo on May 25, 2023.
Richard A. Brooks | AFP | Getty Images

Japan's Nikkei 225 slid as much as 2.4% on Friday after the Bank of Japan adjusted its stance on its yield curve control policy. The benchmark index ended the day 0.4% down at 32,759.23 while the Topix saw a smaller loss of 0.2%, closing at 2,290.61.

The BOJ also held its benchmark policy rate at -0.1%, in line with expectations from economists polled by Reuters.

Japan's central bank said that it will continue to allow 10-year government bond yields to fluctuate in the range of around plus and minus 0.5%.

However, it will "conduct yield curve control with greater flexibility, regarding the upper and lower bounds the range as references, not as rigid limits, in its market operations."

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In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.7% to end at 7,403,6 as the country's retail sales fell 0.8% year on year in June, lower than expectations in a Reuters poll that the retail sales figure will remain unchanged from a year ago.

South Korea's markets were in positive territory, with the Kospi higher by 0.17% to close at 2,608.32 and the Kosdaq up 3.39% to end at 913.74.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 1.43% in its final hour of trade, while the Shanghai Composite was up 1.84% to close at the highest level since May 22, and the Shenzhen Component gained 1.62% to end at 11,100.4.


Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes slid, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 0.67% and snapping its 13-day winning streak.

Should the Dow have recorded a 14th straight day of gains, the index would have tied its record winning streak going way back to 1897.

Separately, the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.55%, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.64%.

— CNBC's Sarah Min and Samantha Subin contributed to this report

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Keppel reported a record net profit of over $3.6 billion for the half year ended June 30, significantly higher than the $498 million reported over the same period last year.

The results were "underpinned by a S$3.3 billion disposal gain from the divestment of the offshore and marine (O&M) business," Keppel said in a press release statement.

"The going is going to get tough, but we also see better investment opportunities is the second half," the group's CEO Loh Chin Hua told CNBC, adding markets are adjusting to new paradigms of higher interest rates and a slowing global economy.

While Loh sees headwinds in China, Keppel has not seen a markdown in its Chinese assets as the company's exposure in China comprise mainly of landbanks.

Keppel's shares were last trading 2.73% higher.

—Lee Ying Shan

China’s housing ministry is getting ‘bolder’ about real estate support

China's housing ministry has announced plans to make it easier for people to buy property.

"It seems to us that [the housing ministry] is quick in response this time and also gets bolder on relaxing property policies," Jizhou Dong, China property research analyst at Nomura, said in a note Friday.

Hong Kong-traded Chinese property stocks such as Longfor, Country Garden and Greentown China traded higher Friday, on pace to close out the week with gains after plunging on Monday over debt worries.

However, markets still await details on local implementation. China has also not yet announced formal measures for supporting real estate.

— Evelyn Cheng

Japan bank stocks rally even as Nikkei leads losses in Asia

Shares of Japanese banks and financials surged after the Bank of Japan announced that it will adjust its stance on its yield curve control policy Friday. 

Among the major banks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group led gains in the sector and was up 4.63%, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group climbed 3.96% and Mizuho Financial Group gained 4.16%.

Despite this, the broader Nikkei 225 index led losses in Asia, tumbling almost 2% after the BOJ announcement.

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