Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Shares in Asia were mixed as investors continued to look towards the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting later on Wednesday.
The central bank is not expected to raise rates, but investors will be watching out for any clues on timing, reports BBC.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was up 0.42 per cent at 18,867.67 points ahead of several company earnings due out later.
There is also speculation that Japan’s central bank may expand its stimulus measures when it meets on Friday.
In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was flat, down just 0.03 per cent at 5,343.90 in early trade.
Shares in one of the country’s biggest lenders, National Australia Bank (NAB), were down as much as 1.3 per cent after the bank’s cash earnings for the period missed expectations.
The lender’s cash earnings, which strip out some one-off accounting items, and is the bank’s preferred measure, rose 15.5 per cent to $5.84bn.
Australia’s headline consumer price index also came in less than expected for the three months to September, rising 0.5 per cent quarter on quarter. Analysts said the number may see Australia’s central bank cut its lending rates again.
“The fact that inflation is lower than expected and below target, despite a 20% plus fall in the value of the [Australian dollar] over the last year adds to the case for the RBA [Reserve Bank of Australia] to cut the cash rate again in order to offset the potential negative impact on the economy of big bank mortgage rate hikes,” said AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver.
In China, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.41 per cent at 3,421.4, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.28 per cent at 23,075.76.
In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index was down 0.32 per cent at 2,038.57.