Tokyo, Japan (BBN) – Asian shares were mixed on Wednesday as investors parsed through economic data out of Asia ahead of the FOMC meeting announcements.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 recovered from earlier losses of more than 0.5 percent to trade down 0.08 per cent, breaking away from the correlation of a weaker yen hurting the benchmark index, reports CNBC.
Shares of Toshiba fell 0.83 per cent, earlier dropping as much as 3 per cent after the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Toshiba will stop building nuclear power plants after incurring billions of dollars of losses to complete delayed projects in the U.S.
Gaming giant Nintendo dropped 3.73 per cent after it cut its profit outlook by 10 billion yen ($88 million) due to weak console sales.
It’s latest console, the Switch, is expected to be released in March.
Japanese automakers were also in the red, with Toyota Motor down 1.05 per cent, Nissan Motor off 0.4 per cent and Honda Motor slipped 0.47 per cent.
But Mitsubishi Motors rallied 13.7 per cent, after it revised its full fiscal year guidance from operating losses of 27.6 billion yen ($244 million) to profits of 1 billion yen ($8.8 million) on the back of better cost reduction methods.
There is “appeal in contributions from new products, such as compact SUVs for global markets and minivans for Indonesia sales growth, synergies with Nissan Motor, and cost savings over the longer term,” said Masataka Kunugimoto, research analyst at Nomura, in a note on Tuesday.
Australia’s ASX 200 was up 0.36 per cent, underpinned by its gold sub-index, which was up 1.11 per cent and its energy sub-index, which gained 1.12 per cent.
Over in South Korea, the benchmark Kospi added 0.5 per cent, after trade data showed that January exports jumped 11.2 per cent from the previous year, at its fastest pace of growth since 2012.
South Korea’s December industrial output slipped 0.5 per cent in December, missing a Reuters poll forecast expecting an increase of 0.3 per cent.
China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Mangers Index (PMI) for January came in at 51.3, higher than a forecast of 51.2, while its official services sector PMI came in at 54.6 in January.
A figure above 50 represents expansion in the sector, while a figure below 50 indicates contraction.
Mainland Chinese markets will remain shut through Thursday for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Markets in Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan are also shut for holidays.
On the currency front, the dollar index remained under pressure trading at 99.631, compared to levels above 100 seen this week.
“The travel ban continued to weigh on US sentiment this week, whilst Trump lashed out at China, Japan and Germany, accusing them of devaluing their currencies at the dispense of the US economy,” said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at ThinkMarkets in a note on Wednesday.
Overnight, US top trade adviser Peter Navarro accused Germany of using a “grossly undervalued” euro to gain advantage over the US and its own European Union partners.
These charges were rejected by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said “Germany is a country that has always called for the European Central Bank to pursue an independent policy,” in a news conference.
The euro climbed after the comments, hitting a two-month high of $1.0811 and pressuring the dollar lower below the 100 handle. At 9:30am HK/SIN, the euro/dollar stood at $1.0792.
The yen also rose for the fourth straight session against the softer greenback, to trade at 112.97, as the Australian dollar held steady at $0.7561.
The Kiwi was weaker at $0.728, below $0.7300 levels after data showed that New Zealand’s jobless rate rose to 5.2 percent in the fourth-quarter and wage growth remained muted at 0.4 percent from the previous quarter, and 1.6 percent on-year.
On Tuesday during Asian hours, US crude slipped 0.11 percent to $52.74 a barrel, as global benchmark Brent dipped 0.16 percent to $55.49.
Stateside, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.54 percent to close at 19,864.09, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.09 percent to finish at 2,278.87, and the Nasdaq finished up 0.02 per cent at 5,614.79.
Investors will eye announcements from the Federal Reserve’s first monetary policy meeting of the year due Wednesday afternoon with the central bank expected to hold steady.