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Asian Stocks Mixed In Narrow Session, Focus Firmly On Fed

Asian Stocks Mixed In Narrow Session, Focus Firmly On Fed

David Cottle, Analyst


  • Asian stocks were mixed in a narrow session
  • The US central bank is expected to leave interest rates alone
  • But its also expected to leave a June move very much live

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Asian stocks were mostly lower Wednesday as investors looked with some caution to the US Federal Reserve’s May monetary policy call, which will come in the early hours of Thursday morning in the Asia Pacific region.

The Fed is expected to leave interest rates alone this month but also to leave a June hike very much in prospect. Sessions before such decisions can be tepid ones for Asia and Wednesday was no exception. The Nikkei 225 ended down 0.16% with stocks in China and South Korea also lower as their daily closes approached. The ASX 200 made modest gains with industry and tech out in front.

The US Dollar broadly held onto its gains, with the markets expecting the gulf in monetary policy prospects between the Fed and its central banking peers to yawn as widely as ever. Economic data from the region consisted of Purchasing Managers Indexes from Japan and China, both of which painted quite optimistic pictures of these two crucial world economies. The Australian Dollar got a modest boost from China’s performance.

AUD/USD remains under some duress on its daily chart with the psychologically key 0.7500 level under threat.

Australian Dollar Vs US Dollar, Daily Chart

Gold prices inched up from their four-month lows of last week while crude oil prices got a boost from worries about further sanctions against Iran.

Still to come Wednesday is that Fed decision of course. Before it investors will get sight of various European PMIs along with official Eurozone Gross Domestic Product numbers. US mortgage application levels will be revealed, as will the Automated Data Processing employment snapshot. Crude oil inventory figures are coming up too.


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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Follow David on Twitter @DavidCottleFX or use the Comments section below to get in touch!

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