TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mixed in muted trading yesterday as investors awaited the United States (US) Federal Reserve meeting later in the week.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost nearly 0.1 per cent to 21,566.85. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1 per cent lower to 6,184.80 and South Korea’s Kospi inched down less than 0.1 per cent to 2,177.62. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.1 per cent to 29,418.12, while the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.2 per cent to 3,00.98.
Shares rose in India. Taiwan’s benchmark was unchanged and those in Southeast Asia were mixed.
US stock indexes finished modestly higher on Monday, extending the market’s solid gains from a rally last week.
The S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent to 2,832.94. The benchmark index is now up 13 per cent for 2019 so far, which is a bigger gain than it’s had in four of the last five full years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 per cent to 25,914.10.
The Nasdaq composite added 0.3 per cent to 7,714.48, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 0.7 per cent, to 1,563.93.
Investors are speculating over whether the Federal Reserve might slow its pace of interest rate increases. The worry in December last year was that the central bank would raise rates too fast, choking off growth as the global economy slowed. The Fed will meet to discuss interest-rate policy later this week, with an announcement scheduled for today.
Economists expect the Fed to announce no change to rates, but it might release documents that would suggest one rate increase in 2019, or possibly zero, after the Fed raised rates four times in 2018 and three times in 2017.
ENERGY: Benchmark US crude oil was unchanged at USD59.09 a barrel. It rose one per cent yesterday. Brent crude gained four cents to USD67.58 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.26 yen from 111.56 yen on Monday. The euro strengthened to USD1.1344 from USD1.1338.