While most Asian stock markets were trading in the green on Wednesday (17 August), the Shanghai Composite was down 0.05% at 3,108.46 as of 6.31am GMT, despite New York Fed President William Dudley stating that the US central bank could raise interest rates as early as next month.
Dudley, a close ally of Fed Chair Janet Yellen, said: "We're edging closer towards the point in time where it will be appropriate I think to raise interest rates further." His statement was based on the expanding US labour market and rising wages.
According to Reuters, Dudley who also spoke about low bond yields, was seen as more hawkish in contrast to his cautious tone last month. Apart from Dudley, Dennis Lockhart, the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President, also hinted at the possibility of an increase in rates in September.
Their views are said to be supported by positive US industrial production and housing data released on 16 August.
"Clearly the Fed seems to think the market's pricing of a September rate hike is too low. Today's minutes of the Fed's July policy meeting could be more hawkish than market expectations," Tomoaki Shishido, fixed income strategist at Nomura Securities, said.
Indices in the rest of Asia were as follows on 17 August at 6.46am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||22,950.55||Up||0.17%|
Overnight (16 August), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,552.02, down 0.45%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,893.92, down 0.68%
Among commodities, oil prices declined amid doubts that a proposed meeting of oil producing nations to curb output will be successful. While WTI crude oil was trading lower by 0.58% at $46.31 (£35.56) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 0.83% lower at $48.82 a barrel as of 6.56am GMT.