Asia Stocks Start Week Mixed as Traders Eye Fed

Asian equities traded mixed and currency markets were subdued at the start of a week that’s likely to be dominated by the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.

Federal Reserve Policy Meeting

Stock benchmarks nudged lower in Japan and Korea, and rose in Australia, while futures signaled gains in Hong Kong. Investors are assessing the implications of a new head at China’s central bank, after the Wall Street Journal reported that Yi Gang was named to run the PBOC.

Trade tensions remain in focus as U.S. Treasury official David Malpass said he misspoke hours after claiming the U.S. was pulling out of decade-old formal economic talks with Beijing. The dollar made modest gains against major peers for a third day, while bond yields rose.

Trading will likely be in a holding pattern as the focus turns to Jerome Powell’s first meeting as chairman at the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. It comes just weeks after he hinted to investors that he’s open to lifting the policy rate four times this year, rather than the three currently reflected in dot-plot forecasts. Some Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expect that median projection to rise to four at Wednesday’s meeting, while others say there will be no change following a round of mediocre data and policy makers’ stated intentions to move gradually.

Read More: Stocks Mixed Before Next Week’s Fed Rate Report

Elsewhere, Bitcoin recovered to trade back above $8,000 after tumbling as much as 13 percent. In other major political news, Vladimir Putin cruised to a landslide victory in Russia’s presidential vote, extending his 18-year rule amid escalating confrontation with the West.

Here are some key calendar events coming up this week: 

✅ The FOMC decision and Powell’s news conference come on Wednesday.

✅ The Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates and its asset-purchase program unchanged on Thursday. Attention is on language in the statement, while many forecast the bank could increase its key rate as soon as its next meeting in May.

✅ Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday as part of a U.S. visit that includes New York, Boston, San Francisco and Seattle.

✅ Company earnings scheduled for this week include: Tencent, FedEx, Porsche, Hermes, PetroChina, Nike, Enel and Oracle.

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Neal Bhai has been involved in the Bullion and Metals markets since 1998 – he has experience in many areas of the market from researching to trading and has worked in Delhi, India. Mobile No. - 9899900589 and 9582247600

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