Monday, October 15, 2018

© Reuters.  Asian shares mixed© Reuters. Asian shares mixed – Asian shares were mixed on Tuesday as attention turns squarely to the U.S. Fed.

The Nikkei 225 rose 1.51% adn the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.03%. But shares in greater China fell with the Hang Seng down 0.06% and the Shanghai Composite down 0.29%.

Australia reported its house price index for the second quarter jumped 1.9%, compared with a 1.1% gain seen.

The Reserve Bank of Australia repeated that monetary policy is expected steady for “some time” in the minutes of its September rate review released Tueday, and at which it held steady at a record low 1.50%.

Investors will watch as the Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday and is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged when it announces its decision on Sept. 20..

But investors are awaiting details on its reduction of $3.7 trillion in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities bought during the financial crisis.

Overnight, US stocks closed at record highs on Monday as the risk-on trade continued unabated, led by a surge in Financials ahead of the Federal Reserve two-day meeting which gets underway on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher at 22,331. The S&P 500 closed 0.15% higher while the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.10% higher.

The rally in U.S. showed little sign of fatigue as investors piled into equities amid falling tensions on the Korean Peninsula while financials surged amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will reaffirm its outlook that an additional rate hike remains appropriate this year, when it concludes its two-meeting policy meeting on Wednesday.

JPMorgan (NYSE:NYSE:JPM), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:NYSE:GS) and Citigroup (NYSE:NYSE:C) ended the session more than 1% higher.

Higher interest rates are seen as boon for banks, boosting net interest margin – the difference between the interest income generated by banks and the amount of interest paid out to their lenders.

“We expect the Federal Open Market Committee will also signal via its economic projections and in [Fed chair] Yellen’s commentary during the press conference that it still anticipates raising rates one more time this year, so long as incoming data support its projections for inflation and growth,” Said Peter Hooper, chief economist at Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn).

Investors, meanwhile, continued to downplay U.S.-North Korea tensions, fleeing safe-haven gold in search of riskier assets such as equities in the wake of U.S secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s comments that U.S. seeks a “peaceful solution” and wants to “bring North Korea to the table for constructive, productive dialogue.”

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