Asian shares mixed in quiet trading ahead of US Fed decision

Asian shares mixed in quiet trading ahead of US Fed decision


TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mixed in quiet trading Wednesday ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that may give clues on what lies ahead with its massive support for markets.

Japan released data that showed its trade surplus jumped 49.6% in May from the previous year, but analysts said that was less than expected and highlights how the world's third largest economy and its exports may be only slowly recovering from the pandemic.

Investors are also watching data out of China on industrial production and retail sales for indications about the health of the regional economy.

Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.5% in afternoon trading to 29,291.86. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.7% to 3,280.45. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained nearly 0.1% to 7,386.20. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.4% to 28,522.99, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.9% to 3,524.76.

“Asian markets are quiet ahead of the Fed,” said Robert Carnell, regional head of research Asia-Pacific at ING. “China’s data dump may stir things up a bit today, but the main focus will be on the Fed’s message and any hints they may give.”

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 dipped 0.2% to 4,246.59 as the Federal Reserve began a two-day meeting on interest-rates and other policies. A day earlier, the index hit an all-time high amid optimism about the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3% to 34,299.33. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.7% to 14,072.86.

The S&P 500 was down as much as 0.4% earlier in the day, after a report showed inflation on the wholesale level leaped last month by even more than economists expected. Prices for producers were 6.6% higher in May than a year earlier, the highest since 2010 and the latest evidence that inflation is bursting higher across the economy.

The fear is that if higher inflation gets...

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