Asia Markets: Asian stocks lack direction ahead of central bank comments

Equity markets lacked direction in Asia on Wednesday, as was the case overnight in the U.S., though Australian stocks outperformed on strong gains among the country’s biggest banks.

Markets are expected to remain in narrow ranges ahead of policy statements from the European and Japanese central banks, due Thursday. Some investors are avoiding aggressive trading as a result.

But Australia’s stock benchmark rebounded some from Tuesday’s 1.2% slide, rising as much as 1% as the country’s “big four” banks jumped some 3%. Even though the country’s biggest regulator boosted capital requirements, the firms have until the start of 2020 to reach the new targets, easing near-term fears of capital raisings which could dilute current shareholders.

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