Asian Stocks Reverse Gains Ahead of Fed's Interest Rate Decision

  • Australia’s Vocus Group leads declines after profit target cut
  • U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision due Wednesday in Washington

What to Expect From the Fed Today

Asian stocks outside Japan declined as Australian shares dropped before the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate decision. Equity markets in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong are closed Wednesday for holidays.

The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index fell 0.2 percent as of 3:55 p.m. in Hong Kong, erasing earlier gains. Optimism was wiped out as Australia’s Vocus Group Ltd. closed 27 percent lower after cutting its profit target, making it the biggest decliner on the benchmark Asian gauge. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid the most since March.

The Federal Reserve is expected to leave policy untouched as it concludes a two-day meeting in Washington on Wednesday. A slew of economic data before the announcement will also weigh on investor sentiment.

“The market has expected the Fed to hold rates unchanged but investors are watching out for signals on how monetary policy will evolve in the near future,” Dong-yul Lim, a senior trader at CMC Markets in Singapore wrote in a note.

Disappointing earnings from Apple Inc. didn’t dampen stocks in Taiwan, where some of the the company’s suppliers are based.

Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings Ltd. was the best performer on the index after reporting better-than-expected profit. That helped put the Straits Times Index at the highest level since July 2015.

Summary

  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 -0.5%
  • Taiwan’s Taiex +0.2%, Shanghai Composite Index -0.3%
  • Sensex and Nifty 50 indexes little changed
    • Indian Stock Valuations May Stay Elevated on Equity Demand: Morgan Stanley
  • Malaysia’s KLCI Index -0.2%; Thailand’s SET Index +0.1%; Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index -0.2%; Philippine Composite Index -0.0.2%; Singapore’s Straits Times Index +0.8%
    • DBS Upgraded at Two Firms on 1Q Earnings Surprise: Street Wrap
    • Noble Group on the Ropes Before Share Consolidation Kicks In
    • Thanachart, My EG Are Among Potential MSCI Additions: Maybank
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