Asia Markets: Asian markets rise ahead of Fed meeting

Asia Markets

Stocks make strongest gains in Seoul, Sydney; Nikkei closed for holiday

A woman walks past an advertisement for the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G smartphone at a telecom shop in Seoul. Samsung reported an increase in revenue but lower profits on Wednesday.


AFP/Getty Images

Asian markets rose in early trading Wednesday, as traders awaited reassurance from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
HSI,
+0.27%

inched up about 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite
SHCOMP,
+0.44%

edged up 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi
180721,
+0.69%

rose 0.8%, while benchmark indexes gained in Taiwan
Y9999,
+1.47%

, Singapore
STI,
+0.21%

and Indonesia
JAKIDX,
+0.83%

. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
XJO,
+1.51%

advanced 0.9%. Japan’s Nikkei was closed for a holiday.

In South Korea, Samsung Electronics
005930,
-0.20%

shares were down slightly after the tech giant reported a slight decline in net quarterly profit, despite increased demand for its memory chips.

“That didn’t take long for Asia to get back on the rally bus,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist for AxiTrader, in a note. “Traders are expecting a significant rewrite in today’s FOMC policy statement when the Fed will, in unambiguous terms, send clear messaging that extraordinary policy settings will remain in place for as long as it takes.”

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak Wednesday after the Fed ends its two-day meeting. While no action on interest rates is expected, the Fed chief is expected to offer a reassuring message to investors that it has the current financial crisis under control following a number of stimulus moves in recent weeks, and as the U.S. moves toward reopening its economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. stock futures
YM00,
+0.51%

ES00,
+0.68%

gained Wednesday night as U.S. crude futures
CLM20,
+13.45%

shot up in electronic trading following more losses on Tuesday.

Stocks on Wall Street closed lower Tuesday, giving up early gains, as technology stocks took a hit ahead of earnings reports. Wednesday is set to be the busiest day of this earnings season, with Boeing, Facebook and Tesla among the companies reporting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.13%

lost 32.23 points, or 0.1%, to end at 24,101.55, snapping four days of gains. The S&P 500 index
SPX,
-0.52%

shed 15.09 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 2,863.39. The Nasdaq Composite index
COMP,
-1.40%

dropped 122.43 points, or 1.4%, closing at 8,607.73.

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