Asian shares mostly fell in muted trading Tuesday as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the week.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225
lost 0.3% in early trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
edged down 0.1% and South Korea’s Kospi
inched down less than 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng
was about flat, while the Shanghai Composite
Among individual stocks, Hitachi
jumped in Tokyo trading, while Nikon
slid. In Hong Kong, Sino Biopharmaceutical x
and CSPC Pharmaceutical
surged, as Sunny
fell. SK Hynix
slipped in Korea, as did Taiwan Semiconductor
in Taiwan. Beach Energy
tumbled in Australia, while Rio Tinto
U.S. stock indexes finished modestly higher Monday, extending the market’s solid gains from a rally last week.
The S&P 500
gained 10.46 points, or 0.4%, to 2,832.94. The benchmark index is now up 13% 2019 so far, which is a bigger gain than it’s had in four of the last five full years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 65.23 points, or 0.3%, to 25,914.10.
The Nasdaq composite
added 25.95 points, or 0.3%, to 7,714.48.
On market players’ mind is the Federal Reserve meeting later in the week, and speculation it may slow its pace of increases for interest rates. The worry in December was that the central bank would raise rates too fast in the face of a slowing global economy and choke off growth. The Fed will meet to discuss interest-rate policy this week, with an announcement scheduled for Wednesday, but economists expect it to announce no change to rates.
Some economists say the Fed could release documents Wednesday that would suggest one rate increase in 2019, or possibly zero, after the Fed raised rates four times in 2018 and three times in 2017.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil
slipped 3 cents to $59.06 a barrel. It rose 1 percent to $59.09 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude
gained 1 cent to $67.55 a barrel.
fell to 111.21 yen from 111.56 yen Monday.
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