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James Hyerczyk
Asia Pacific Shares

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes are trading higher in limited action on Thursday. Japan’s Tokyo Stock Exchange suspended trading on Thursday due to a technical issue, while many major markets –China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan – closed for holidays. Australia and Singapore are open for trading.

In the cash market on Thursday, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index is trading 5907.80, up 91.90 or 1.58%.

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‘Technical Glitch’ Shuts Down Tokyo Stock Exchange

Japan Exchange Group said in a Thursday press release that the Tokyo Stock Exchange is halting trading due to a “technical glitch” in the “distribution of market data.” No details were given on when trading could resume.

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Singapore’s Singtel Announces CEO Retirement

In a limited news day, shares of Singapore telecommunications firm Singtel rose about 1.4% in Thursday morning trade after the firm announced that its CEO is set to retire on January 1, 2021.

The company’s board has chosen insider Yuen Kuan Moon, currently CEO of Singtel’s Singapore consumer business, as successor to Chua who will stay on as senior advisor to the Chairman to assist with the transition.

The appointment of Yuen, also Singtel’s chief digital officer, comes after the telecom giant in April won one of the licenses to build a 5G network in the country.

Chua, 62 joined the company 31 years ago and as its CEO, she led the international expansion of the business by acquiring Australia’s Optus and a stake in India’s Bharti Airtel, among other investments.

Japan Corporate Pessimism Eases from 11-Year Low

Japanese manufacturers were less pessimistic in July-September compared with the previous quarter when the coronavirus pandemic had pushed down business sentiment to an 11-year low, the Bank of Japan’s “tankan” survey showed.

The headline index for big manufacturers’ sentiment improved to minus 27 in September versus minus 34 in June, which was the lowest level since June 2009, the closely watched survey showed on Thursday.

The result compared with economists’ median estimate of minus 23 in a Reuters poll, and marked the first improvement in seven quarters.

Australia Shares Track Wall Street Higher

Australian shares rose on Thursday, following an upbeat session on Wall Street as talks progressed on a new coronavirus relief package, while easing restrictions in major Australian states also restored confidence in riskier assets.

In Australia, the state of Queensland said it would ease restrictions on some people entering from the country’s most populous state, New South Wales, while case numbers in the coronavirus hotspot of Victoria remained steady.

Later in the day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to announce grants worth A$1.3 billion ($930.93 million) to manufacturers, in an effort to revive an economy battered by the pandemic.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.
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