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Japan raises interest rates for the first time in 17 years; Nikkei whipsaws

·1 min

Asia-Pacific markets fell on Tuesday as investors assessed central bank monetary policy decisions from the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of Australia. The BOJ ended its negative interest rate policy at its March meeting and hiked interest rates for the first time in 17 years. The RBA held its benchmark rate steady for the third consecutive meeting. In the US, all three major indexes rebounded as tech companies gained. Nvidia shares rose at its GTC Conference and Alphabet ended higher on news of talks with Google. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also gained. Fidelity International plans to lay off staff in its China unit, and solar products manufacturer China Longi will lay off 5% of its staff. China’s foreign minister expressed readiness to work with New Zealand on implementing a free trade agreement. Japan’s finance minister highlighted big pay hikes in the economy. Strategists at Berenberg see one sector as a relative bargain amid stock market valuations and AI company focus. A portfolio manager highlighted a promising AI investment. Deutsche Bank noted signs of doubt creeping into market optimism. An Apple and Alphabet AI partnership would benefit both companies. The Federal Reserve’s meeting this week has investors thinking about the future.