Asian markets quiet on lowered expectations for Fed rate cut, U.S.-China trade deal

Asian markets were mixed in quiet trading Wednesday, as investors’ recent enthusiasm was tempered by comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, while U.S. officials lowered expectations for the expected meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the G-20 meeting this week.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.61%   fell 0.6% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.05%   was about flat. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.23%   dipped 0.2%, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +0.04%   gave up early gains. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, -0.04%   gained 0.2% and Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, -0.47%    retreated 0.3%. Benchmark indexes in Singapore STI, -0.29%   and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.11%   were about flat, as was Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.09%  .

Among individual stocks, SoftBank 9984, -1.51%   fell in Tokyo trading, as did Fast Retailing 9983, -1.23%  and Honda Motor 7267, -0.26%  . In Hong Kong, Sunny Optical 2382, +2.16%   and meat processor WH Group 288, +0.64%   gained while property companies, such as Sun Hung Kai 16, -1.57%  , fell. SK Hynix 000660, +3.45%   surged in South Korea while Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, -1.47%   slipped in Taiwan. Rio Tinto RIO, +0.64%   rose slightly in Australia.

On Wall Street, discouraging economic data and cautionary remarks from the head of the Federal Reserve weighed on the market.

The sell-off marked the third straight loss for the market and the biggest drop this month for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index, which hit an all-time high only last week.

In an early afternoon speech, the Fed‘s Powell noted that the economic outlook has become cloudier since early May amid uncertainty over trade and global growth. Earlier Tuesday, reports showed a decline in consumer confidence and more weakness in the housing market.

The S&P 500

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