Asian stocks set for mixed session as investors await Fed

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian shares were set for a mixed open on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s view on the economy at the end of its policy meeting, although upbeat Chinese and U.S. economic data is likely to give sentiment a tailwind.

FILE PHOTO: Passersby wearing protective masks walk past an electronic board showing Japan’s Nikkei average, the exchange rate between Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar and other world’s benchmarks outside a brokerage, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Global equities markets rallied on Tuesday, first on data that showed China’s industrial output and retail sales picked up, and later on an increase in U.S. factory production.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures rose 0.75% in early trading. Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures slid 0.13%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures rose 0.33%.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.01%.

Commodity-linked currencies such as the Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian dollars gained after the positive Chinese data.

But with U.S. lawmakers at an impasse over a new stimulus package, concerns about the economic recovery remained and investors’ attention shifted to the two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, which started on Tuesday.

“There is some expectation that with the U.S. Congress unwilling/unable to agree to a new fiscal package, monetary policy may need to step in to fill the void,” NAB analyst Tapas Strickland said in a note. “Accordingly markets will be focused on any changes to forward guidance and to any balance sheet adjustments.”

The Bank of Japan and the Bank of England announce their respective policy decisions on Thursday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.65% higher on Tuesday.

U.S. stocks ended off their session highs, with the Dow industrials closing little changed.

Apple Inc retraced earlier gains after its product event, which included the

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