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Asian Shares Mixed Ahead Of Fed Meeting

by June 14, 2016 General
CANBERA (dpa-AFX) – Asian stocks traded mixed on Tuesday as caution prevailed ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting beginning later in the day and next week’s referendum on whether Britain should stay in the EU.

China’s Shanghai Composite index was up 3 points or 0.1 percent at 2,836 after tumbling 3.2 percent on Monday in the wake of disappointing data. Expectations are high for Chinese A-shares to finally gain entry into the MSCI Emerging Market Index ahead of the decision on June 15. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was marginally lower at 20,495.

Japanese shares were hit by falling government bond yields and a strengthening yen, as investors await the FOMC meeting along with monetary policy announcements from the Bank of Japan, Bank of England and Swiss National Bank.

The benchmark Nikkei was down 210 points or 1.31 percent at 15,809, a two-month low, after Monday’s 3.5 percent slide. Automakers and financials were coming under selling pressure, with Mazda Motor, Honda Motor, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial losing about 2 percent each.

Apparel store operator Shimamura gained 1.8 percent on a Nikkei report that its group operating profit apparently jumped 30 percent in the March-May period from a year earlier.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 102 points or 1.92 percent at 5,210 as trading resumed after a long weekend. Energy producers Oil Search, Origin Energy, Santos and Woodside Petroleum were down 3-5 percent after oil prices failed to hold onto the psychologically key $50 level.

Mining and banking stocks also traded lower while gold miners Newcrest and Evolution Mining were up about 2 percent each, as gold held steady after touching a four-week high in the previous session.

South Korea’s Kospi average was down 8 points or 0.44 percent at 1,970, extending losses for the fourth straight session. New Zealand’s NZX-50 index was down 0.8 percent at 6,872 after declining 0.7 percent in the previous session.

Elsewhere, Malaysia’s KLSE Composite was down 0.3 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times index was losing 0.2 percent, while Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite index was up 0.4 percent and the Taiwan Weighted was up 0.1 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks fell for a third straight session Monday, as lower oil prices, concerns about the U.K.’s referendum on EU membership and Sunday’s terror attack in Orlando made investors jittery ahead of the Federal Reserve’s meeting. The Dow dropped 0.7 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 slid 0.8 percent.

In Europe, shares hit two-month lows on Monday, with both cyclical and commodity stocks coming under selling pressure, as bond yields slipped to new record lows on worries over a possible British exit from the European Union.

The German DAX tumbled 1.8 percent, France’s CAC 40 slumped 1.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.2 percent. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 1.8 percent.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX