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Asia markets mixed ahead of US data, Fed meeting

Asian stock markets

Equities are expected to remain range-bound until the conclusion of the Fed’s meeting

Asian markets experienced a mixed performance on Thursday following a lacklustre day on Wall Street. Traders are eagerly anticipating a series of US data releases that could influence Federal Reserve officials ahead of their upcoming policy meeting.

While the recent consumer price index reading did not significantly impact the expectation of interest rate cuts this year, analysts cautioned that the producer prices index (PPI) could challenge this sentiment if it exceeds forecasts.

Equities are expected to remain range-bound until the conclusion of the Fed’s meeting. Market participants are anticipating the Fed to maintain its current stance, but the post-meeting statement and rate outlook will be closely scrutinized, with many expecting three rate cuts this year.

The PPI data typically does not trigger significant market movements, according to Stephen Innes at SPI Asset Management.

Still, given traders’ ongoing concerns about pipeline inflation, another hotter-than-expected print could lead to minor turbulence, he added.

In addition to the Fed meeting, Thursday will also see the release of retail sales, jobless claims, and consumer sentiment figures.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq in New York were dragged down by tech giants like Nvidia, Apple, and Tesla, while the Dow ended slightly higher.

Asian markets, including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, and Manila, showed cautious movements. Tokyo saw a decline amid speculation that the Bank of Japan may start moving away from its ultra-loose monetary policy next week. Sydney, Wellington, and Jakarta also experienced losses.

Investors are closely monitoring the China-US tensions following the House of Representatives’ resounding approval of a bill. This bill would compel the Chinese owner of TikTok, ByteDance, to divest from the company. Failure to comply would result in the platform being banned in the United States.

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