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Asian Stocks Stuck As Fed Call Looms, Democrats Win in Alabama

Asian Stocks Stuck As Fed Call Looms, Democrats Win in Alabama

David Cottle, Analyst


Talking Points:

  • Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday
  • A looming Fed interest rate decision kept trade narrow, with the exception of Hong Kong where markets snapped back higher
  • The Dollar slipped a bit as Democrats took a seat in usually conservative Alabama

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Most Asian stock markets head a ‘treading water’ feeling about them Wednesday as investors awaited the conclusion of the US Federal Reserve’s final monetary-policy meeting of 2017. The result of this won’t be known until the early hours of Thursday local time.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.45% while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5%. The country’s President Moon Jae-in began a trip to China with North Korea’s nuclear program and the deployment of US anti-missile technology will be on the agenda. The ASX 200 rose by 0.1%, while Chinese stocks were further into the green.

The Fed is universally expected to raise interest rates, leaving the main question investors will want answered relating to the number of further increases it expects through 2018. The US Dollar slipped from one-month highs against its major traded rivals. The election of Democrat Doug Jones to the Senate for usually conservative Alabama unsettled the market and was a major blow to the Trump Administration. Obviously the market had one eye on the Fed but strong US wholesale prices released Tuesday had helped the greenback gain. The Australian Dollar got a modest lift from surprisingly strong consumer confidence figures.

Crude oil prices gained on news of a big US stock drawdown – an ongoing UK pipeline closure- while gold prices were steady before the Fed.

Still to come Wednesday are UK employment data and Eurozone industrial production. From the US we await mortgage-application numbers, November’s official Consumer Price Index and real average earnings. Crude oil inventories from the Department of Energy are coming up too.

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.