By Associated Press
BEIJING — Asian stock markets fell Tuesday after Wall Street rose to a new record as investors looked ahead to this week’s Federal Reserve meeting for assurance interest rates will be kept ultra-low.
The Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.03% in Tokyo lost 0.3% and the Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.36% in Hong Kong retreated 0.1%. The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.58% sank 0.5%.
The Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.77% in Seoul declined 0.3% after the government reported economic output rebounded to above pre-pandemic levels after growth accelerated to 1.6% over the previous quarter in the three months ending in March.
The S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.13% in Australia fell 0.3%. Stocks in New Zealand /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR +0.26% declined while Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.14% and Jakarta /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.20% advanced.
On Monday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.19% rose 0.2% as gains for tech, bank and consumer stocks outweighed declines for health care.
Investors expect the Fed to keep its key lending rate close to zero and to inject more money into the financial system through bond purchases following a two-day meeting that starts Tuesday.
The Fed’s announcement Wednesday of its decision “should be boring, as policymakers are widely expected to keep policy steady,” said Edward Moya of Oanda in a report.
Investor confidence has increased as governments roll out coronavirus vaccines they hope will allow business activity to return to normal. That has been tempered by unease about possible higher inflation and interest rates.
About a quarter of S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly results so far this earnings season. Of these, 84% have delivered earnings that topped Wall Street’s estimates, according to FactSet.
Also Wednesday, markets will focus on President Joe Biden’s prime-time address to Congress for possible details of infrastructure spending and tax reform.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 18 cents to $62.09 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 23 cents to $61.91 on Monday. Brent crude , used to price international oils, added 24 cents to $65.27 per barrel in London.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.3238% rose to 108.29 yen from Monday’s 108.12.