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Asian Markets Mixed After Fed Meeting; BOJ, Hong Kong Political Unrest in Focus

Investing.com - Asian stocks were mixed in morning trade on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate for the second time in two meetings.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component gained 0.1% and 0.3% respectively by 10:29 PM ET (02:29 GMT).

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.2%. Traders are paying close attention to the development on the ongoing political unrest in the city. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference overnight with House members as well as Joshua Wong, Denise Ho and other Hong Kong activists and showed support to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.

"Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate enthusiastically support this legislation," Pelosi said. "We stand with ... all who are fighting for a peaceful, hopeful future."

The U.S. congressional committee will vote next week on the legislation, which would potentially include terms such as annual reviews of Hong Kong’s special economic status and the imposition of sanctions on those who undermine its autonomy.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.5%. The Bank of Japan kept its short-term rate target at -0.1%, but noted in a statement that “it is becoming necessary to pay closer attention to the possibility that the momentum towards achieving its price target will be lost.” BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda will provide a briefing later in the day.

"Taking this situation into account, the BOJ will re-examine economic and price developments at its next policy meeting, when it updates the outlook for economic activity and prices," it said.

South Korea’s KOSPI traded 0.3% higher.

Down under, Australia’s ASX gained 0.5%. Data showed the country’s employment grew 34.7k in August, well above the expectation of 10k.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 5.3%, in line with expectation.

The Fed cut its key federal funds rate to the 1.75-2% range from the previous 2-2.25%. The move, which was widely expected by analysts, was the second rate cut this year.

Despite the cut, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that the Fed had failed and not gone far enough in cutting interest rates, expressing concerns that the ongoing trade war with China and slowing global economic growth will continue to impact the U.S. economy.

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