Asia stocks trade cautiously after Fed keeps rates unchanged


Stocks in Asia were broadly lower in morning trade after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at its latest policy meeting.

The mainland China markets, which investors are watching closely as trade tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to weigh on sentiment, slipped into negative territory in their opening minutes of trade. The Shanghai composite shed 0.88 percent and the Shenzhen composite declined by 0.576 percent.

Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 1.42 percent in early trade.

The moves in China followed the country’s Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index for the month of October coming in at 2.5 percent and 3.3 percent higher, respectively, compared to a year ago. Those numbers were in line with expectations from a Reuters poll.

One economist warned that relations between the U.S. and China could get more frosty now that the midterm elections stateside are over.

“The upshot is that there will be more noise and volatility on China,” TS Lombard’s chief U.S. economist, Steve Blitz, said in a note on Thursday, commenting on the post-election environment. Many Democrats, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, are “China hawks,” Blitz said.

In other Asian market news, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.72 percent while the Topix index saw losses of 0.2 percent after earlier seeing gains. South Korea’s Kospi was largely flat.

In Australia, the ASX 200 was lower by 0.41 percent in the morning, with the major sectors in mixed territory. Energy stocks fell by 1.47 percent while the heavily weighted financial subindex slipped into negative territory as it declined 0.11 percent.



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