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Asian stocks mixed with Fed on deck; Nikkei down 0.76%

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Investing.com - Asian stocks were mixed during Wednesday's session as a busy week for central bank commentary gets rolling later Wednesday with a monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve. The Bank of England and European Central Bank chime in later in the week.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.76%. In a report released earlier Wednesday, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said that Japan's average cash earnings rose 0.1% in the second quarter following a first-quarter reading of -0.1%. Analysts expected a second-quarter increase of 0.2%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.32% while the Shanghai Composite added 0.43%. Since August 2009, the Shanghai Composite has plunged 43%, erasing $748 billion in market value, Bloomberg reported. Still, some investors see Chinese stocks as cheap because equities there trade at significant discounts to their emerging markets and U.S. peers.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained almost 1%. In a report released earlier Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia said that Australian private sector credit rose 0.4% in June compared with a 0.3% increase in May. Analysts expected a June increase of 0.4%.

Chinese import iron ore currently trades around USD131 per ton in the spot market, but Goldman Sachs sees that price falling to USD108 per ton next year as seaborne iron ore moves to oversupply. Analysts believe spot iron ore could average USD126 per ton this year, a four-year low.

New Zealand's NZSE 50 inched up 0.01% while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.15%.

In U.S. economic news out Tuesday, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 U.S. metro areas rose 1% in May, below the 1.3% increase economists expected. Year-over-year growth was 12.2%, just below the 12.3% economists forecast.

The Conference Board said consumer confidence fell to 80.3 in July from a reading of 82.1 in June. U.S. consumer confidence is still near its highest levels in five years. The Fed is likely to leave interest rates at 0.25% later Wednesday.

Singapore's Straits Times Index dropped 0.28% while S&P 500 futures rose 0.10% a day after the benchmark index inched up 0.04%.

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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.

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