US Fed Reserve Officials Point to Mid-2015 as Likely Date for a Rate-Hike
US Fed's vice chair Stanley Fischer said the payroll data will play a factor in the Fed’s decision on interest rates Reuters

While most Asian stock markets traded mixed on Wednesday (31 August), the Shanghai Composite was up 0.17% at 3,079.99 as of 6.15am GMT as traders await key August US nonfarm payroll data which is due to be released on Friday (2 September).

This will be the last major data release before the US Fed's September meeting. US Federal Reserve vice chair Stanley Fischer told CNBC that the data would help the Fed decide on whether or not to increase interest rates. He is also said to have previously stated to a newswire that he expected the US to be close to full employment, indicating that a rate increase could be on the cards, though the timeline is still not known.

Commenting on Fischer's remarks, Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist with Mizuho Bank, said: "It appears markets focused a little more on his 'can't say one and done' reference to rate hikes than his qualifier that pace of tightening will be data dependent, given that Fischer alluded to near-full employment conditions in the economy."

Indices in the region were trading as follows at 6.27am GMT

Hong KongHang Seng Index23,000.14Down0.07%
JapanNikkei 22516,887.40Up0.97%
South KoreaKOSPI2,030.52Down0.45%
IndiaCNX Nifty8,780.20Up0.41%
AustraliaS&P/ASX 2005,433.00Down0.83%

Overnight (30 August), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,454.30, down 0.26%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,820.79, down 0.25%.

Among commodities, oil prices slipped amid oversupply fears. While WTI crude oil was trading lower by 0.22% at $46.25 (£35.32) a barrel, Brent crude was 0.19% lower at $48.28 a barrel as of 6.31am GMT.