Asian stock markets were trading mixed on Wednesday (27 July), with the Shanghai Composite Index down 2.34% at 2,978.92 as of 6.52am GMT, ahead of the interest rate decision that the US Federal Reserve is expected to announce later in the day.

Investors across the region expect the US central bank to keep interest rates unchanged. According to Reuters, the Fed will not be holding a post-meeting news conference, indicating that it would hence not get any hints over a future interest rate increase. While investors reportedly do not expect any change in interest rates in September amid the November US presidential election, they expect a 50% chance of an increase in rates in December.

Asian markets trade mixed ahead of the US Fed’s interest rate decision later in the day
Nikkei gains the most on stimulus expectations from the Bank of JapanReuters

Investors are expecting some stimulus from the Bank of Japan at its monetary policy meeting on Friday (29 July). This could however be related to purchase of government bonds and other riskier assets rather than to interest rates.

Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 27 July at 7.03am GMT:

CountryIndexPriceUp/Down%Change
Hong KongHang Seng Index22,120.28Down0.04%
JapanNikkei 22516,664.82Up1.72%
South KoreaKOSPI2,025.05Down0.11%
IndiaCNX Nifty8,593.15Up0.03%
AustraliaS&P/ASX 2005,539.70Up0.04%

Overnight (26 July), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,473.75, down 0.10%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,724.03, up 0.21%

Among commodities, oil prices extended their losses. While WTI crude oil was trading lower by 0.51% at $42.70 (£32.55; €38.86) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 0.56% lower at $44.62 a barrel as of 7.08am GMT.