Asian stocks are mixed as markets wait for Federal Reserve moves



People walk past the electronic board of directors of a securities firm in Tokyo on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Asian stocks were mostly down Wednesday after major indices ended mixed on Wall Street. (AP Photo / Koji Sasahara)


Stocks were mixed in Asia on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s latest assessment of the US economy.

Tokyo fell, but other major regional benchmarks were mostly higher on Wednesday, reducing initial losses.

The Bank of Japan kept its ultra-support monetary policy unchanged, as expected.

Investors are also keeping a close eye on struggling Chinese developer Evergrande, which is struggling to repay debts. The company announced its intention to pay interest on Thursday.

The Tokyo Nikkei 225 Index lost 0.5% to 29,690.31, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3% to 3,625.32. The Australian S & P / ASX 200 gained 0.6% to 7,319.40. Shares fell 2% in Taiwan and also fell in Singapore. But benchmarks have increased in India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The markets in South Korea and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.

US futures rose and the 10-year Treasury yield edged up to 1.33% from 1.32% on Tuesday night.

The Federal Reserve is expected to send out its clearest signal yet this week that it will begin to curb its ultra-low interest rate policies later this year, the first step towards unwinding the extraordinary support it has provided. to the economy since the pandemic hit 18 months ago.

Wednesday’s Fed policy meeting could lay the groundwork for a November pullback announcement.

Global investors are also anxiously watching Evergrande, one of China’s largest real estate developers, facing a possible default of tens of billions of dollars in debt, fueling fears of possible wider shockwaves for the system. financial.

Chinese regulators have yet to say what they might do with the Evergrande group. Economists expect them to step in if Evergrande and lenders fail to agree on how to handle its debts. But any formal resolution is expected to result in losses for banks and bondholders.

“Although banks have yet to declare Evergrande in technical default, Beijing’s silence adds to market nervousness,” Mizuho Bank’s Venkateswaran Lavanya said in a comment.

On Tuesday, nerves appeared to stabilize after a massive sell-off on Monday.

The S&P 500 lost 3.54 points to 4,354.19, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 50.63 points to 33,919.84. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.2% to 14,746.49.

Small business stocks also managed gains. The Russell 2000 Index rose 0.2% to 2,186.18.

Supply chain issues, which have plagued a wide range of industries, have weighed on several companies. Homebuilder Lennar fell 0.5% after third-quarter home deliveries fell below analysts’ expectations due to supply chain issues.

Universal Music jumped 35.7% when it debuted on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

In other exchanges, the US benchmark crude oil gained 92 cents to $ 71.41 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. He won 35 cents to $ 70.49 on Tuesday.

Brent crude oil, the standard for international prices, added 93 cents to $ 75.29 a barrel.

The US dollar rose to 109.52 Japanese yen from 109.23 yen on Tuesday night. The euro was unchanged at $ 1.1726.

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