Asian markets: China Shanghai Composite gains ahead of US and Japanese central bank policy decisions
Majority of the Asian stock markets were trading lower on 27 April 2016Reuters

While the majority of Asian stock market indices were trading lower on Wednesday, 27 April, China's Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.07% at 2,966.67 as of 5.29am GMT. Investors remained cautious ahead of US and Japanese central bank policy decisions.

While the US Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting will conclude on 27 April after which a decision on its monetary policy could be announced, the Bank of Japan is expected to take a call on its policy decision on 28 April. The US Fed is not expected to raise interest rates, but the BOJ is tipped to expand its monetary stimulus scheme. The BOJ quantitative easing already includes negative interest rates on some deposits.

Sam Tuck, senior FX strategist at ANZ, said: "The main event tonight is the FOMC decision and the question of how much they acknowledge the clearly better global environment. With volatility back to more normal levels, equities again pushing their highs, (European Central Bank President Mario) Draghi indicating they need time to assess existing policy, and Chinese and Asian data showing some signs of picking up, the door is open for the Fed to again signal gradual normalisation."

Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 27 April at 5.41am GMT:

CountryIndexPriceUp/Down%Change
Hong KongHang Seng Index21,327.20Down0.37%
JapanNikkei 22517,295.76Down0.33%
South KoreaKOSPI2,014.55Down0.25%
IndiaCNX Nifty7,969.80Up0.09%
AustraliaS&P/ASX 2005,183.50Down0.71%

Meanwhile, overnight (26 April), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,990.32, up 0.07%, while the FTSE 100 closed higher by 0.38% at 6,284.52.

Among commodities, crude oil was trading close to its 2016 highs. The commodity got a boost after data showed a decline in US crude inventories. On 27 April, WTI crude oil was trading 0.93% higher at $44.45 (£30.52, €39.35) a barrel, while Brent was 1.01% higher at $46.20 a barrel at 5.51 am GMT.