Asia Shares on Positive Note ahead of Fed Rate Hike Decision

Asia equities began the day on a positive note, tracking advances in key US indexes overnight, as investors anticipated the Federal Reserve’s Wednesday meeting amid signs of cooling inflation.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia was up 0.47% as of 9.23 a.m. (Thai time). The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.32% despite factory activity in Japan contracting for the third month in a row in January.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.67% as the country’s exports decreased 16.6% year on year in January.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong moved higher. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.25%.

Later today, Hong Kong will reveal its GDP data for the fourth quarter.

The major indices on Wall Street all gained overnight on the back of positive inflation and profit reports.

The Fed’s rate decision will be announced at 1900 GMT, and Chair Jerome Powell will hold a news conference at 2100 GMT. The central bank is expected to announce an interest rate hike of 25 basis points, or 0.25 percentage point, on Wednesday in response to persistently strong inflation.