Asian markets posted gains ahead of Fed rate increase


Asian stocks gained during the early sessions on Wednesday, with markets pooling their attention on the Federal Reserve after it started it March meeting.

The KOSPI index was up 0.17 percent while the junio Kosdaq gained 0.4 percent. Ship manufacturing activity were firmer during the morning trade, with South Korea’s top three shipbuilders all posting gains. Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering gained 2.06 percent Samsung Heavy was pinned on 0.6 percent while Hyundai Heavy Industries climbed 2.39 percent.

In news from Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.23 percent. Energy stocks also recorded gains, rising 1.2 percent after oil prices spiked to record levels in three weeks overnight.

On Wednesday, several large cap Hong Kong listed corporates are scheduled to submit their earnings report. Internet powerhouse Tencent and Geely Auto are expected to issue their results later in the day.

The Federal Reserve is broadly expected to increase interest rates for the on Wednesday, marking its first interest rate increase this year. Based on the CME Group’s FedWatch tool, the possibility of a 25-point basis rate increase in March was at 94.4 percent.

Global markets are also closely monitoring the meeting for indicators regarding whether the central bank is going to increase rates more than three times this year.

During the last session, stateside gains came after the U.S. market took a step back at the start of the week due to a fall in Facebook shares which affected the tech sector.


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