Asian Bourses Perked Higher Ahead of Fed Decision

Bursa Malaysia is closed today (Wednesday) for Federal Territory holiday.

Meanwhile, Asian bourses perked higher at closings, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight.

While it is true that market participants remain in a cautious optimism ahead of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate decision and accompanying statement later on Wednesday.

The anticipation is that Feb would be very likely to have a less hawkish stance on the pace of its monetary policy tightening. The recent data that paints a slowdown in the pace of growth in US labor costs and a decline in consumer confidence.

Logically, this would raise the hope amongst investors that the Federal Reserve will slow its pace of rate hike in fighting inflation. Hence, it is widely expected to increase the interest rate by a mere 25 basis points.

Also on the radar on investors would be the decisions of European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England scheduled on Thursday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index(HSI) snapped its 2-day losing streak by staging a strong rebound today. The HSI advanced 1.05% and closed at 22,072.18, buoyed by technology stocks, car manufacturers. Some of the best performers of the day were Baidu spiked 9%, BYD soared 6%, ATM rallied 3%.

Meanwhile, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.33% to 7,501 points, lifted by the real estate and industrial sectors. The biggest gainer is Flight Centre, leaped 8% after completing a $180 million placement to fund the purchase of UK luxury travel company Scott Dunn. While, the biggest loser was Pinnacle Investment Management Company, which closed down 7%.

Shanghai’s SSE Composite Index rallied 0.9% to 3284.92 spurred by positive news of Blommberg’s aggregate index of eight early indicators showed a slight uptick in activity in January, compared with a contraction in December. Consumption will be the driving force for the world’s second-largest economy this year, as analysts see the resilience of the economy during the Spring Festival.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index (STI) improved 7.21 points or +0.21% to 3,372.88; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) rallied 229.85 points or +1.05% at 22,072.18; Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 19.77 points or +0.07% at 27,346.88; Shanghai’s SSE Composite Index gained 29.25 points or +0.9% at 3,284.92; Korea’s Kospi Index climbed 24.72 points or +1.02% at 2,449.80; Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index collected 25 points or +0.33% at 7501.70.

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