- Markets in Australia and India are closed for holidays on Wednesday.
- Investors will be looking ahead to the Fed’s conclusion of its meeting on Wednesday, where it’s expected to issue a statement signaling a rate hike as soon as March and more policy tightening.
- The International Monetary Fund downgraded its global growth forecast for this year as rising Covid-19 cases, supply chain disruptions and higher inflation hamper economic recovery.
- Oil and gold prices jumped overnight on concerns over Ukraine-Russia tensions.
SINGAPORE — Asia markets traded mixed on Wednesday, after U.S. equities tumbled overnight in another volatile session as investors await the Fed meeting statement later stateside. Oil and gold prices also jumped on Russia-Ukraine tensions.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.57%, while the Shanghai composite was up 0.3%, and the Shenzhen component rose 0.48%.
Chinese tech stocks recovered slightly after losses the day before, with Tencent rising almost 2%, and JD up 1%. The Hang Seng Tech index rose 1.14%.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 0.85%, while the Topix was down 0.46%. Some auto and tech stocks fell.
Over in South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.18%. Singapore’s Straits Times index was up 0.46%.
Markets in Australia and India are closed for holidays on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its global growth forecast for this year as rising Covid-19 cases, supply chain disruptions and higher inflation hamper economic recovery. It said in a report published Tuesday that it expects global gross domestic product to weaken from 5.9% in 2021 to 4.4% in 2022 — with this year’s figure being half a percentage point lower than previously estimated.
Markets will be looking ahead to the Fed’s conclusion of its meeting on Wednesday, where it’s expected to issue a statement signaling a rate hike as soon as March and more policy tightening on the table to address high inflation.
Ahead of the Fed meeting statement, stocks stateside tumbled following a volatile session on Monday.
Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:
Bank of America is sifting through the rubble and likes these stable stocks on the dip
Tom Lee says this pullback is a really attractive buying opportunity for 2022
These stocks are now cheap and loved by Wall Street after falling more than 20%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down Tuesday, shedding 67.77 points, or 0.2%, to close at 34,297.73. The index swung from a nearly 819-point deficit at its lows to a roughly 226-point rally at its highs during the session. The S&P 500 dipped 1.2% to 4,356.45. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 2.3% to 13,539.30.
Elsewhere, geopolitical tensions continued to rattle investors as Western allies prepared for some kind of military confrontation, getting troops in place in the event that Russia does invade Ukraine.
Oil prices rose over 2% on Tuesday on concerns that supplies could become tight due to those Ukraine-Russia tensions, among other factors.
U.S. crude was down 0.29% to $85.34 during Asia trading hours in the morning, while Brent marginally edged down to $88.14 per barrel.
Gold prices also jumped to a more than two-month high overnight over the geopolitical tensions, with spot gold hitting its highest since Nov. 19 at $1,852.65. During Asia hours on Wednesday morning, spot gold was last at $1,847.
“Gold is rallying as investors run to safety over fears the Fed will aggressively tighten policy and as the list of geopolitical risks continues to grow: The Russian-Ukraine standoff will remain a tense situation for the foreseeable future, North Korea may resume nuclear tests, and Iran nuclear talks are approaching a decisive moment,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at foreign exchange trading firm Oanda.
|.N225||Nikkei 225 Index||*NIKKEI||27003.13||-128.21||-0.47|
|.HSI||Hang Seng Index||*HSI||24440.74||197.13||0.81|
|.AXJO||S&P/ASX 200||*ASX 200||6961.6||-177.9||-2.49|
|.FTFCNBCA||CNBC 100 ASIA IDX||*CNBC 100||9806.85||37.4||0.38|
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.973, continuing to rise from earlier levels of around 95.8.
Kathy Lien of 60 Second Investor said that the path of U.S. monetary tightening, if aggressive, could set the pace for the dollar to strengthen.
“If Powell confirms that rate hikes will begin in March and suggests that they need to aggressively control inflation with more than 4 rounds of tightening, the U.S. dollar should soar against all of the major currencies,” she said in a note. “However anything short of that could trigger a relief rally in equities and currencies that eases demand for U.S. dollars.”
In other currencies, the Japanese yen traded at 113.83 per dollar, while the Australian dollar was at $0.7155, strengthening from around $0.714 earlier.
Source : CNBC