Asian Shares Dip as Investors Remain Cautious Before Fed Chairman Testifies

Shares in Asian markets were mostly lower on Wednesday, as investors opted for a cautious stance in advance of the Federal Reserve chairman’s congressional testimony later today.

As of 9:40 a.m. Bangkok time, Japan’s Nikkei 225 had recovered from previous losses to post a 0.38% gain.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia was down 0.26%, poised to end a seven-day gain streak. The Kospi index in South Korea fell by 0.37%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong led the region’s declines, falling 1.35% during early trading. The Shanghai Composite Index on the Chinese mainland was down 0.24%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both dropped by 0.72% overnight in the United States. The Nasdaq Composite recorded the smallest loss, down only 0.16%.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is set to give his semi-annual report to Congress on Wednesday, and a hawkish tone is anticipated by Bloomberg Intelligence. Although interest rates were left steady at last week’s meeting, projections call for another two quarter-point increases and possibly another half-point increase.