Asian shares fall as Fed minutes show data may tweak stance

Asian markets were mostly lower on Thursday following the U.S. Federal Reserve released minutes of its meeting in March. Although officials considered the central bank could leave interest rates unchanged for the remainder of the year, several said their views could change with incoming information.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng grew up 0.6% to 29,929.66 along with the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.8% to 3,215.79. The Kospi at South Korea was flat at 2,224.44. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 slid 0.4percent to 6,198.70.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 bucked the regional trend, including 0.1percent to 21,711.38. Shares dropped in Thailand Taiwan and Indonesia but climbed in Singapore.

The Federal Open Market Committee published minutes from a meeting in March on Wednesday. There were not any major surprises. It showed that many officials considered that the central bank would render its key policy rate unchanged for the remainder of the year.

In which the Fed reduced its 2019 speed hikes outlook from two to none, this was in accordance with the outcome of the March 19-20 meeting.

In the moments Fed officials stated they may feel differently, depending on.

Growth and lower inflation expectations might prompt while increasing inflation expectations and growth may justify a rate hike, the Fed to cut rates.

An indication of flexibility caused Asian markets to start in a”somewhat soft disposition,” said Selena Ling, chief economist at OCBC Bank.

“The FOMC minutes indicated that prices could head in either direction from here, but members generally favor being patient for the rest of the calendar year,” she added in a meeting.

China reported inflation amounts at March on Thursday that met with market expectations. The nation’s producer price index rose 0.4percent in March from a year ago, according to National Bureau of Statistics. It was created from February’s 0.1percent growth. Its consumer price index picked up 2.3percent in March from a year before, as compared to a 1.5% increase in the previous month.

While utilities dropped On Wall Street, indexes were raised by powerful gains by small-company stocks and technology businesses. The wide S&P 500 index rose 0.3% to 2,888.21. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.1% higher at 26,157.16 along with the Nasdaq composite jumped 0.7% to 7,964.24. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks climbed 1.4percent to 1,581.55.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 32 cents to $64.29 per barrel. It added 63 cents to settle at $64.61 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude drop 28 cents to $71.45 percent barrel. The contract gained $1.12 to $71.73 per barrel in London.


AP Business Writers Alex Veiga and Damian J. Troise contributed to the story.


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