Australia, Japan stocks higher as rest of Asia chills out

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Stocks in Australia and Japan are higher during a quiet trading day, with the rest of Asia taking a long weekend.

Japan’s Topix and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 are each up by 0.3 per cent around lunchtime in their respective locales.

The gains follow a shaky start to trading today and despite a negative lead from Wall Street, where the S&P 500 closed 0.2 per cent lower on Friday as US gross domestic product data for the March quarter underwhelmed, slowing to its weakest pace since 2014.

Most major currencies were weaker against the dollar on Monday, though. The dollar index, measuring the US currency against a basket of global peers, was up 0.1 per cent at 99.14.

The Australian dollar was down 0.1 per cent at $0.7484, while the yen sank 0.2 per cent to ¥111.67 per dollar to be the second-worst performer among major global currencies.

The worst of the lot today was the British pound, down 0.3 per cent at $1.2913 after hitting a seven-month high on Friday.

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