Asian Stock Market: All eyes on FOMC decision

  • Asian shares trade mixed as vaccine hopes joins mixed trade signals and a light calendar.
  • Sino-American tension continues with WTO taking sides with Beijing, Canada wars the US over aluminum tariffs.
  • Second-tier data from Japan, Australia also print upbeat results.
  • Fed’s quarterly economic forecast will be the key to follow.

Asian equities portray the typical pre-Fed trading lull while heading into the European session on Wednesday. As a result, the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares, ex-Japan, gains 0.34% intraday but Japan’s Nikkei 225 marks only 0.10% profits daily as we write.

US President Donald Trump’s optimism that the coronavirus vaccine will be available in three or four weeks recently favored the market sentiment on a dull day. Earlier, the Trump administration’s blacklisting of another Chinese firm and the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ruling over the Washington-Beijing trade tussle weighed the risks. It should also be noted that the progress in the hurricane Sally towards the Gulf of Mexico helps the oil prices and entertains the market players off-late.

Talking about the data, Japan’s Merchandise Trade Balance Total beat forecast and prior in August whereas New Zealand’s second quarter (Q2) Current Account balance also came in positive. Further, the Aussie Westpac Leading Index grew past-0.06% forecast but HIA New Home Sales slipped below 79.6% expected and 64.4% prior to -14.4% in the previous month.

It’s worth mentioning that New Zealand’s (NZ) Treasury came out with its pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU) for this year. The key takeaways suggest a recovery in near-term economic forecasts amid expectations of shallower virus slump and longer impact.

Looking at the stock specifics, shares in Australia and New Zealand have been positive but those from China and Hong Kong print mild losses. Malaysia’s PSEi Composite becomes the region’s biggest loser, down 1.20% intraday, whereas India’s BSE Sensex adds around 0.30% gains so far on the key day.

As the US Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jerome Powell has already revealed the secret of inflation targeting, global markets await the quarterly economic forecasts for fresh impetus. Even so, comments from the Fed Chair can’t be ignored. It should additionally be noted that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) may surprise markets with its cautious optimism and can help Asian bourses to extend the recent run-up.

Read: September FOMC Preview: Projections, projections, projections

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