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Asian shares steady to higher as investors await Fed views on rates

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Asian shares held steady to higher on Wednesday ahead of Wednesday's critical Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

The Federal Reserve could remove a reference to remaining patient from its minutes, which would provide an indication that the U.S. central bank is ready to raise interest rates at some point this year.

Typically, when the Fed eliminates such language it signals that an interest rate hike will occur at either of its next two meetings. Following the two-day meeting this week, the FOMC will convene in June, as well as September.

Periods of higher interest rates are a troubling sign for gold, which struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates move in a higher direction.

The Nikkei 225 ended the morning up 0.11%, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.86%.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its fifth triple digit loss of the month on Tuesday and its ninth triple-digit move in March, continuing one of its volatile months in recent memory.

Losses, meanwhile, were less pronounced on the S&P 500 Composite while the NASDAQ Composite index edged higher.

Elsewhere, reports of mixed U.S. economic data contributed to the large decline.

Last month, housing starts, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, fell by 17% to a seasonally adjusted pace of 897,000 units to reach the lowest level since January, 2014. Horrid weather throughout the Northeast for the month of February is thought to be responsible for the downturn.

Housing permits have been above an adjusted pace of 1 million since July.

The Labor Department, though, released more encouraging figures in regards to unemployment. Last month, unemployment dropped in 24 states, while rising in only eight. Unemployment levels remained virtually unchanged in the remaining states.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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