Asian markets poised for muted trade as investors turn attention to Fed

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Asian markets were mixed in early Wednesday action as investors began to shift their focus from the recently concluded U.S.-North Korea summit to the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s June meeting later in the day.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up by 0.22 percent in the morning, with shippers and utilities gaining. The materials sector lagged the broader index, but automakers advanced.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.25 percent, with most sectors trading in negative territory. The heavily weighted financials subindex eased 0.14 percent and resource plays also pulled back. Utilities held onto slight gains.

Markets in South Korea and Indonesia were closed on Wednesday.

Global markets were subdued following Tuesday’s meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The summit, which took place in Singapore, marked the first ever meeting between sitting leaders of the two nations.

The historic summit culminated in both leaders signing an agreement that pledged to create a lasting “peace regime” on the Korean Peninsula, although the statement was criticized for lacking in detail.

Trump also said during a press conference that the U.S. would be halting war games held with South Korea.

U.S. stocks finished the day little changed in the last session, with the lack of commitment in the agreement signed by Trump and Kim not giving investors much to go on.

Following the conclusion of the high profile summit, investors will now focus their attention on upcoming central bank meetings. The Federal Reserve will end its two-day meeting on Wednesday U.S. hours and is widely expected to announce a rate hike. Markets will also be looking for clues on the central bank’s rate hike trajectory this year.

The European Central Bank and Bank of Japan will meet later in the week.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was supported ahead of the conclusion of the Fed’s meeting at 93.826. Against the yen, the dollar firmed slightly to trade at 110.44 at 8:05 a.m. HK/SIN.

In corporate news, shares of ZTE are expected to resume trade on Wednesday, the company said. The telecommunications equipment maker had its operations crippled after the U.S. government imposed a ban on the Chinese company from buying U.S. parts.

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