Taiwan’s Taiex up 2%, RBI rate decision ahead

SINGAPORE — Taiwan shares led gains in Asia-Pacific markets as investors shake off China’s military drills following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.

Taiwan’s Taiex jumped 2.03%, with chipmaker TSMC rising 3%. The index traded lower this week as U.S.-China tensions increased over Pelosi’s trip.

Markets appear unfazed by China’s drills around Taiwan, though Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said Chinese missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone and called the military drills a “serious problem,” according to an NBC News report.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.78% and the Topix index gained 0.75%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.76%.

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The Reserve Bank of India announced that it would raise rates by 50 basis points to 5.4%.

Out of 63 respondents to a Reuters poll, 26 expected that outcome, while 20 predict a 35-basis-point increase.

“We think optimal policy anchoring will require at least another 50bp hike,” Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a Friday note ahead of the decision. He pointed to underlying inflation risks and a hawkish Fed.

“All said, it is in the interest … of the RBI to front-load a 50bp than to spare 15bp-25bp but squander macro-stability derived from May/June hikes,” he said.

After the announcement, the Nifty 50 was 0.28% higher and BSE Sensex in India rose 0.34%.

The Indian rupee strengthened slightly to trade at 79.03 per dollar.

Overnight in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 85.68 points, or 0.26%, to 32,726.82. The S&P 500 was about flat at 4,151.94 at the close. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.41% to 12,720.58.

Friday’s jobs report is expected to show that 258,000 jobs were added in the U.S. last month, according to Dow Jones economist estimates. That’s fewer than the 372,000 added in June.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 105.854 after a recent drop from about 106.5.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 133.22 per dollar. The Australian dollar was at $0.6963, after a sharp fall from above $0.7 on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was 0.4% higher at $88.89 per barrel, after shedding 2.3% in the previous session.

Brent crude futures gained 0.27% to $94.37 per barrel after ending the Thursday session 2.75% lower at $94.12 a barrel. Both benchmarks touched their lowest levels in months.

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