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
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.