Asian markets higher ahead of Fed rates decision

Asian markets higher ahead of Fed rates decision


BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets mostly rose Monday ahead of what is expected to be a Federal Reserve decision this week to raise interest rates again amid investor hopes the U.S. central bank will scale back plans for more increases.

Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced while Shanghai declined. Oil prices fell. The euro stayed below $1.

Wall Street ended last week higher after Apple and other big companies reported strong profits and a closely watched measure of inflation accelerated in September.

The Fed is widely expected at this week's meeting to announce another rate hike of 0.75 percentage points, three times its usual margin. Investors are looking for signs officials are satisfied that earlier increases imposed to cool inflation that is near a four-decade high are working and future increases can be smaller.

Investors worry rate hikes by the Fed and other central banks to cool inflation might tip the global economy into recession. The U.S. central bank has raised its benchmark lending rate to a range of 3% to 3.25% from close to zero in March.

“The tone from Fed Chair Jerome Powell will be important” after this week's meeting, said Yeap Jun Rong of IG in a report. Investors are looking for “increased concerns on economic conditions” instead of the “current head-on resolve to tame inflation.”

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 1.6% to 27,529.33, as the government reported that retail sales rose in September, though industrial production weakened.

The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.2% to 2,909.48 after a manufacturing survey showed a weakening in production and demand. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.7% to 14,970.21.

The Kospi in Seoul added 0.9% to 2,289.00 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.8% to 6,836.80. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also...

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