Nikkei inches up as government turns over
Asian markets rose modestly in early trading Wednesday, as traders awaited news from the U.S. Federal Reserve later in the day.
Japan’s Nikkei 225
inched up 0.1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index
was about flat. The Shanghai Composite
was little changed, and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
fell 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi
advanced 0.1%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan
gained, while Indonesian stocks
were flat. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
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On Tuesday, a World Trade Organization panel found the Trump administration’s tariffs against $200 billion of Chinese goods are illegal, though the organization has little recourse to take against the U.S.
New data Wednesday showed Japan’s exports plunged in 14.8% in August, but that was still better than the previous month and beat analysts’ expectations. Exports to China grew 5.1% while exports to the U.S. sank 21.3%.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet officially resigned Wednesday, clearing the way for Yoshihide Suga to be confirmed as the country’s next prime minister.
“Asian markets already have a quiet look about them, as they remain in wait-and-see mode ahead of the latest FOMC rate decision,” Jeffrey Halley, senior Asia-Pacific market analyst at Oanda, wrote in a note.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to signal on Wednesday that its interest-rate policy will remain unchanged and close to zero through the end of 2023. The Fed will release a policy statement at 2 p.m. Eastern, and Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a press conference a half hour later.
Stocks made modest gains Tuesday on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 2.27 points to finish at 27,995.60, while the S&P 500
gained 17.66 points, or 0.5%, to trade at 3,401.20, marking its third straight increase. The Nasdaq Composite
finished up 133.67 points, or 1.2%, at 11,190.32, logging back-to-back gains.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude
rose 68 cents to $38.96 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude
, the international standard, gained 65 cents to $41.18 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar
dipped to 105.28 Japanese yen.