Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Shares in Asia were looking for direction on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates unchanged.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up as much as 0.8 per cent in early trade following a strong finish on Wall Street, reports BBC.
By mid-morning, however, it was up just 0.28 per cent at 18,956.86 points.
“The markets are as confused about direction as the US Federal Reserve is confused about interest rates,” economist David Kuo told the BBC.
“Last night’s lack of clarity as to when US interest rates could rise just added more confusion into the mix,” the chief executive of the Motley Fool Singapore added.
China’s markets were also seeing some choppy trade, with the Shanghai Composite up 0.05 per cent at 3,376.88 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index down 0.15 per cent at 22,919.82.
Elsewhere in Asia
South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index was up close to 0.9 per cent in early trade, but lost ground later, up 0.49 per cent at 2,052.32.
Shares in electronics giant Samsung were up more than 4 per cent after the firm reported a rise in net profit of 28 per cent for the three months to September.
Investors seemed little swayed by the firm’s outlook for the following quarter.
“In the fourth quarter, the company expects earnings to decline from the earlier quarter, as it does not expect the foreign exchange rate to have a positive effect,” Samsung said in a statement. The company also announced a share buyback programme equivalent to $10bn.
In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.64 per cent at 5,301.10.
Investor sentiment was down despite one of the country’s biggest lenders, ANZ, posting a record annual cash profit of 7.2bn Australian dollars ($5.1bn; £3.34bn).
Investors will also be watching shares of National Australia Bank, which closed down 2.2 per cent on Wednesday after the bank’s cash earnings for the period missed expectations.