Wednesday saw mixed trading in Asia as investors waited for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision later in the day and considered the potential of a Chinese economic stimulus package.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.66% as of 9:13 a.m. Bangkok time, as the country’s inflation rate fell to 6% from 7% in the first quarter.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan was marginally higher.
The Kospi in South Korea lost 0.89%.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell by 0.43%, and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China dipped by 0.09%.
Overnight, U.S. markets across the board rose, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average extending its winning streak to a 12th day.
The 30-stock index posted its longest climb since February 2017 with a gain of 0.08%, while the broader S&P 500 rose 0.28% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.61%.
Later in the day, following a two-day meeting, the Federal Reserve is widely predicted to approve what would be the 11th increase in interest rates since March 2022.
Investors are pricing in a 100% chance that the central bank will approve a rate raise of 0.25 percentage points, bringing the Fed’s goal range for its benchmark borrowing rate to 5.25%-5.5%. The federal funds rate target would then rise to its highest level since January 2001.
China’s top authorities this week signaled policy support for the COVID-ravaged economy, and investors are still considering the possibility of a stimulus package.
China would conduct its macro changes “in a precise and forceful manner,” according to official media, though no specifics on a potential stimulus were provided.