SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked set to trade lower at the Wednesday open as investors looked ahead to a number of data releases regionally as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision.
Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 29,325 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 29,290. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 29,441.30.
Australian stocks looked poised to start little changed, with the SPI futures contract at 7,377, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,379.50.
Looking ahead, Japan’s trade data for May is expected to be out at 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.
China is also set to announce economic data, including industrial production and retail sales for May, at 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.
Fed decision ahead
Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 slipped 0.2% to 4,246.59 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 94.42 points to 34,299.33. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.71% to 14,072.86.
The losses on Wall Street came as investors looked ahead to end of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting that started Tuesday. While the central bank is not expected to take any action, traders will watch for comments on inflation and the Fed’s eventual tapering plans.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.536 after following a recent jump above 90.6.
The Japanese yen traded at 110.07 per dollar, having weakened earlier this week from levels below 109.8 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7683 as it struggles to recover after a slip from the $0.772 level earlier in the week.
Here’s a look at what’s on tap:
- Japan: Trade data for May at 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN
- China: Industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment data for May at 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN