Asian Stock Markets Are Mixed As Focus Now Shifts To FOMC Meeting
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Equities

Asian stock markets traded mixed despite Wall Street yesterday hitting new highs on its key indices as investors remained cautious ahead of the FOMC meeting.

The ASX 200 (+0.9%) rose amid gains in the financial sector as shares of AMP boosted after it announced to divest a 19.1% stake worth AUD 524 million in Resolution Life Australasia and CBA was also higher as Australia’s largest bank offered customers the ability to run crypto transactions through its application.

Hang Seng (-1.0%) while Shanghai Composite (-0.4%) failed to benefit from better Caixin Services PMI data and amid ongoing concerns related to energy problems and with weak technology after Yahoo withdrew from China because of the challenging business and legal environment.

Commodities

WTI crude futures traded below the $ 82 a barrel level after falling more than 1% on Wednesday after the latest data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed a big increase in U.S. crude oil stocks.

Gold prices traded around the $ 1,780 level as investors began to be cautious ahead of the FOMC meeting later today.

Forex

The US dollar was strong above the 94.00 level on Wednesday ahead of the FOMC meeting. The market expects that the Fed will announce to start tapering in this time meeting.

AUD/USD was below the 0.7450 level after suffering losses on Tuesday after the RBA maintained interest rates at 0.10% and continued its asset purchase program of AUD 4 billion a week.

The NZD benefited from strong New Zealand employment data in the third quarter. RBNZ Governor Orr noted that labor market data is very volatile at the moment and GDP figures are becoming increasingly difficult to understand given the uncertainties of New Zealand’s COVID-19.

The JPY maintained gains yesterday with AUD/JPY trading around 84,700 as investors were paying close attention to the FOMC meeting.