Most Asian stock market indices were trading lower on Tuesday (20 September), with the Shanghai Composite down 0.16% at 3,021.16 as of 6.17am GMT. This was amid nervousness amongst investors in the region over the outcomes of the two-day policy meetings of the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, both of which are scheduled to begin today.
Analysts said that the general consensus in the market was that the American central bank would leave interest rates unchanged in the meeting, amid recent weaker-than-expected US data. They added that investors were now concerned over the timing of the next potential Fed rate hike.
With regards to the Japanese central bank, analysts had mixed opinions. While some like Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities, felt the BoJ could give "the market a surprise", some analysts said there was a lot of speculation that the Asian central bank could refrain from further easing.
Reuters cited unnamed sources who said the BOJ could focus on negative interest rates at the current policy meeting. They even said that Japan could deepen its negative interest rates in an effort to show it was determined to maintain an ultra-easy policy bias.
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 6.39am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||23,511.43||Down||0.17%|
Overnight (19 September), the FTSE100 closed 1.54% higher at 6,813.55, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.02% at 18,120.17.
Among commodities, oil prices were trading in the red. While WTI crude oil was trading lower by 0.44% at $43.11 (£33.05) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 0.35% lower at $45.79 a barrel as of 6.44am GMT.