Asian stocks mixed as investors wait for Fed

Asian stocks mixed as investors take wait-and-see approach to US Fed meeting

Associated Press

HONG KONG (AP) -- Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday as investors remained cautious ahead of a meeting by the Federal Reserve that's expected to give an update on forecasts for the world's No. 1 economy.

The economic growth outlook for the U.S. became cloudier after the International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for 2014 growth to a modest 2 percent from 2.7 percent previously. The Fed's Open Market Committee may follow suit at its meeting, which concludes on Wednesday, after government data last month showed the economy shrank in the first quarter because of a severe winter.

"Asian markets are likely in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the FOMC meeting," strategists at Credit Agricole CIB said in a report.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent to 14,991.04, rebounding from a sharp 1.1 percent drop the day before as the yen weakened 0.1 percent to 101.97 versus the dollar.

South Korea's Kospi edged 0.2 percent higher to 1,998.14, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.6 percent to 23,170.29. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent to 2,068.70. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1 percent to 5,400.10.

In energy trading, benchmark crude oil for July delivery fell 36 cents to $106.55 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 1 cent to $106.90 on Monday.

The euro slipped to $1.3560 from $1.3572 in late trading Monday.

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