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Asian Stocks Up as Investors Await Fed’s Interest Rate Decision

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asian stocks were up on Wednesday morning as investors await a U.S. Federal Reserve decision on interest rates, expected later in the day.

But some investors were not expecting the Fed to announce further aggressive cuts.

“We are not expecting any policy action from the Fed, which has already unleashed unwavering policy easing at emergency meetings; from slashing rates to essentially zero; “unlimited QE”; to various extended liquidity/lending facilities,” Mizuho Bank analysts said in a note.

“It is more likely that the Fed will merely, assess the policy actions that have been announced, and possibly streamline/clarify the plethora of facilities set up. That said, there will be nothing in the rhetoric to suggest that the Fed is in anything but dovish mode and maintaining an aggressive easing stance,” the note added.

The European Central Bank is also scheduled to meet on Thursday.

South Korea’s KOSPI posted a modest 0.94% gain by 10:37 PM ET (3:37 AM GMT). Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics posted a first quarter net profit of KRW 4.9 trillion ($4.01 billion), coming in below Refinitiv estimates of KRW 5.1 trillion.

The company warned that it expects overall earnings to decline during the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic slashes demands for its core products such as mobile phones and smart TVs.

TheS&P/ASX 200 rose 1.06% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Indexgained 0.31%. China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.69% while SZSE Component was up 0.35%.

Japan is closed for a holiday.

Even as some countries loosen lockdown measures and try to revive their economies, some investors warned of a long road ahead to recovery.

"We have some very extreme readings on the blow we’ve just suffered and markets are still bouncing around trying to get a reading on where we will be in the third and fourth quarter,” Christopher Smart, chief global strategist at Barings Investment Institute, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

“That is very hard right now without knowing where the disease will be, and how quickly people will feel comfortable going back to work, going back to stores, between now and when there might be a vaccine.”

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