Asian Equities Mixed ahead of Fed Rate Decision

Asia-Pacific shares were mixed on Wednesday as investors braced for another 75-basis-point rate hike by the Federal Reserve, with many seeking for signs of a slowdown in future rate hikes.

As of 9.34 A.M. (Thai time), Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.74%. The Shanghai Composite in mainland China barely moved from the previous session.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan and the Kospi in South Korea were fractionally higher.

In South Korea, inflation rose to 5.7% in October, exceeding the 5.6% predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.27%.

US markets fell overnight as investors reviewed economic data ahead of the Fed’s likely rate move later Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.75 points, or 0.24%, to 32,653.20, and the S&P 500 lost 0.41% to 3,856.10. The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.89% to 10,890.85.

On Wednesday at 18:00 GMT, the Federal Reserve will announce its policy statement, and investors will be watching closely for any hint that policymakers are considering slowing the pace of rate hikes.

The market expects the Fed to raise its benchmark overnight interest rate by 75 basis points (bps), bringing it to a range of 3.75% to 4.00%.

However, investors are divided on how much of a hike to expect in December, with the futures market putting in a 44.5% chance of a 50-bps increase.