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Asia Markets: Nikkei’s losses build as yen continues to edge higher

Asian stocks were treading water Thursday, as traders pulled back positions ahead of a long weekend and with key monetary decisions in Japan and the U.S. due next week. A stronger yen pressured Japanese stocks.

The Nikkei Stock Average NIK, -1.26% slid 1.2%, taking its week-to-date losses to 3.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.23% edged 0.2% lower, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng futures HSI, +0.60% rose 0.6%. Elsewhere, South Korea, China and Taiwan were closed for a public holiday.

“There’s a holding pattern in the market today,” said Chris Weston, a market analyst at IG Market Ltd.

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