Associated Press

Sept. 21, 2021, 11:13 p.m. EDT

Asian markets mostly lower after mixed day on Wall Street

By Associated Press

Asian shares were mostly lower on Wednesday after major indexes ended mixed on Wall Street.

Benchmarks fell in Tokyo, Shanghai and Taiwan but rose in Sydney. Markets in South Korea and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.

The Bank of Japan kept its ultra-supportive monetary policy unchanged , as expected.

Investors are waiting to see the Federal Reserve’s latest assessment of the economy and keeping an eye on troubled Chinese developer Evergrande, which is struggling to meet debt payments.

A late-afternoon burst of buying on Wall Street faded in the final minutes of trading Tuesday, leaving the major stock indexes mixed. The S&P 500 ended down a bit less than 0.1%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index (NIKKEI:JP:NIK) lost 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite index (SHG:CN:SHCOMP) declined 0.5%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO) gained 0.7%. Shares fell 2.4% in Taiwan (TAIWAN:TW:Y9999) and also declined in Singapore (SES:SG:STI) . But benchmarks rose in Indonesia (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX) and Malaysia (KLS:MY:FBMKLCI) .

The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged higher to 1.33% from 1.32% late Tuesday.

The  Federal Reserve is expected this week  to send its clearest signal yet that it will start reining in its ultra-low-interest rate policies later this year, the first step toward unwinding the extraordinary support it’s given the economy since the pandemic struck 18 months ago.

Wednesday’s Fed policy meeting could lay the groundwork for an announcement of a pullback in November.

Global investors also are watching nervously as Evergrande (HKG:HK:3333) , one of China’s biggest real estate developers, faces a possible default on tens of billions of dollars of debt, fueling fears of possible wider shock waves for the financial system.

Chinese regulators have yet to say what they might do about Evergrande Group. Economists expect them to intervene if Evergrande and lenders can’t agree on how to handle its debts. But any official resolution is expected to involve losses for banks and bondholders.

On Tuesday, nerves appeared to steady after a selloff on Monday.

The S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) fell 3.54 points to 4,354.19, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) dropped 50.63 points to 33,919.84. The Nasdaq composite (NASDAQ:COMP) rose 0.2% to 14,746.49.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil picked up 54 cents to $71.03 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 35 cents to $70.49 on Tuesday.

Brent crude oil , the standard for international pricing, added 42 cents to $74.78 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar (XTUP:USDJPY) rose to 109.42 Japanese yen from 109.23 yen late Tuesday.

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