Investing.com - Asian stock markets were mixed in cautious trade on Wednesday, as market players prepared for the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting and news on the fate of its bond buying program.
During late Asian trade, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng Index dipped 0.1%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched down 0.17%, Australia’s ASX/200 Index closed 0.21% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index ended up 0.36%.
Traders turned their attention to the Fed’s policy statement later in the session, amid expectations for a further reduction in its bond buying program to $55 billion from the current $65 billion.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei ended higher as traders continued to monitor movements in the currency market. USD/JPY rose to a daily high of 101.62, moving off the previous session’s low of 101.26.
Data released earlier showed that Japan reported a larger-than-forecast trade deficit in February, as spiraling energy imports offset import costs.
Japan Display tumbled 15.2% on debut trading in Tokyo. The world''s largest manufacturer of screen for smartphones and tablets raised as much as $3.2 billion earlier this month in a deal that was priced at the bottom of the proposed range.
Meanwhile, in Australia, the ASX/200 Index inched up, while the Australian dollar rose to a three-month high of $0.9137 against the greenback.
Elsewhere, shares in mainland China and Hong Kong came under pressure as sentiment continued to be weighed by concerns over the property sector after real estate developer Zhejiang Xingrun reportedly defaulted on its debt on Tuesday.
China Merchants Property fell 2.2%, China Vanke lost 2.1%, while Poly Real Estate slid 2.8%.
Looking ahead, European stock market futures pointed to a steady open. The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a flat open, France’s CAC 40 futures dipped 0.1%, London’s FTSE 100 futures were little changed, while Germany''s DAX futures added 0.1%.
Across the Atlantic, U.S. equity markets also pointed to a flat open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.02%, S&P 500 futures inched down 0.02%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a flat open.
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