While Asian stock market indices were trading in a mixed pattern on Tuesday, 26 April, China's Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.08% at 2,944.41 at 5.46am GMT. This followed a weak close overnight on the Wall Street and Footsie as investors remained on the sidelines awaiting the outcome of Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting that concludes on 27 April.
While the markets are predicting that there would be no increase in interest rates in the ongoing meeting, Fed officials have repeatedly said that the rates are likely to be increased in the June meeting. Tomoaki Shishido, fixed income strategist at Nomura Securities, said, "Even dovish policy makers such as (Boston Fed President Eric) Rosengren are saying markets expectations are too low. And it is not hard to imagine many at the Fed feel current market rates are too low".
"So the Fed may try to urge markets to price in higher rates. On balance, we are more likely to have a hawkish surprise than a dovish surprise," Shishido added.
Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 26 April at 5.55am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||21,143.85||Down||0.75%|
Meanwhile, overnight (25 April), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,977.24, down 0.15%, while the FTSE 100 closed lower by 0.78% at 6,260.92.
Among commodities, oil prices saw an uptick because of a weaker dollar and new cash flowing into the market. However, analysts warned there were still chances of a downside. "The biggest bear risk to the oil market right now is that Iran's ramp-up accelerates and then that Saudi Arabia does the same", Citibank analysts said.
On 26 April, WTI crude oil was trading 0.84% higher at $43 (£29.65, €38.16) a barrel, while Brent was 0.76% higher at $44.82 a barrel at 6.06am GMT.