Stocks in limbo ahead of US Fed decision

Tuesday 07.00 BST

What you need to know

  • Yen hovers around ¥111 per dollar mark
  • Aussie stocks lead gains as financials climb
  • Dollar edges lower ahead of Fed decision
  • Oil climbs further after gains from Saudi, Russia warnings

Overview

Asia Pacific traders largely adopted a wait-and-see approach on Tuesday after a muted start to the week on Wall Street and ahead of the rates decision from the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday. European equities are expected to rise in opening trade.

Hot topic

Australian equities led gains in the region, with the S&P/ASX 200 index up 0.9 per cent.

In Tokyo the Topix was down 0.1 per cent as a 0.3 per cent fall in the industrials segment offset gains elsewhere. Shares in air bag-maker Takata fell as much as 18.5 per cent ahead of the company’s downgrade from the Tokyo Stock Exchange main board, scheduled for Thursday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was virtually flat with developer Sunac down as much as 8.4 per cent after it announced a $516m placement of new shares.

In New York on Monday, the S&P 500 equity index ended 0.1 per cent lower while the Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.4 per cent to a record close of 6,410 ahead of the release of earnings from a number of big tech companies.

According to opening calls from CMC, London’s FTSE 100 will rise 20 points in opening trade and Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax 30 will gain 38 points.

Forex

Japan’s yen was hovering near its strongest level in more than a month as the dollar weakened slightly against most of its global peers. The yen firmed slightly in early afternoon trading to ¥111, having touching its highest level since mid-June on Monday.

The dollar index — measuring the greenback against its global peers — was off 0.1 per cent at 93.923. Yield on the 10-year US Treasury was down 1 basis point at 2.248 per cent. Bond yields move inversely to price.

The Australian dollar continued to hover just below the $0.80 mark at $0.7940, where it has been for about a week.

The euro remained near its highest against the greenback since August 2015 at $1.1659.

Commodities

Oil was climbing in Asia after threats from Saudi Arabia and Russia against producer nations that failed to meet agreed-upon supply cuts bolstered prices in late Monday trade.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 0.6 per cent at $48.88 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, rose the same amount to $46.61.

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