Asian Shares Fluctuate Ahead of Fed Decision; China Erases Loss

  • Toshiba leads losses after TSE taps stock at risk of delisting
  • China’s Premier Li downplays risk of trade war with Trump

Why the Fed Will Raise Rates Today

Asian stocks fluctuated as investors await the Federal Reserve’s rate decision, while mainland China shares erased losses as Premier Li Keqiang played down the risk of a trade conflict with the U.S.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed as of 4:20 p.m. in Hong Kong after climbing in each of the previous three sessions. Toshiba Corp. led losses on the gauge after the Tokyo Stock Exchange said the shares may be delisted.

Benchmarks in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea declined and India’s benchmark Sensex halted a three-day gain, retreating from Tuesday’s two-year high.

The Fed’s decision is due at 2 p.m. Washington time, or 2 a.m. Thursday in Hong Kong. A policy decision from the Bank of Japan is also due Thursday.

Asian markets lacked direction, faced with a “lack of inspiration” after the broad pullback in U.S. overnight, said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte Ltd. Low volume activity may be because markets are holding in anticipation of the Fed decision and pro-trade comments from China’s premier have helped the stocks to pare losses, she added.

Summary

  • Topix -0.2%, Nikkei -0.2% at close
    • Toshiba -12%, worst performer; Kyushu Electric Power -8% after Goldman says convertible-bond sale dilution warrants attention; Mitsubishi Heavy +4.2%, extends gains after Edison ruling
  • Hang Seng Index -0.2%, HSCEI -0.4%, Shanghai Composite +0.1%
    • Alibaba Pictures +4.5% after signing cooperation pact with Alibaba Group; Techtronic Industries +7% after full-year net income beat estimates
  • South Korea’s Kospi index little changed after three sessions of gains
    • Samsung SDS +2.6%, Samsung Card +2.7% after Samsung says it is still mulling setting up a holding company
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 +0.3%
    • Fortescue Metals +5.7% after RBC upgrade; Deutsche Bank backs Australian banks and miners
  • India’s Sensex -0.1% as of 1:43 p.m. in Mumbai, Nifty 50 little changed
    • Idea Cellular +9% after the company is said to separate its tower business
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index -0.4%, Malaysia’s KLCI -0.3%, Jakarta Composite -0.1%, Thailand’s SET Index little changed
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