Stocks in Asia Pacific dipped in Thursday morning trade as investors react to the overnight release of July meeting minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policymaking body.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.27% while the Topix index shed 0.19%. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.52%.
Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.53%.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.32% lower.
China is set to announce its benchmark lending rate at its August fixing on Thursday, expected at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN. Majority of the participants in a Reuters survey expected no change to both the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) and five-year LPR.
Markets in Indonesia and Malaysia are closed on Thursday for a holiday.
Federal Open Market Committee members agreed at their latest meeting in late July that the ongoing situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic could “weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term and was posing considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term,” according to the meeting minutes. The U.S. central bank kept rates unchanged last month.
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell 0.4% to close at 3,374.85. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 85.19 points, or 0.3%, to finish its trading day stateside at 27,692.88. The Nasdaq Composite lagged, declining 0.6% to close at 11,146.46.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.999 after seeing an earlier spike from levels below 92.5.
The Japanese yen traded at 106.12 per dollar following a weakening yesterday from levels below 105.6 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7184 after dropping from above $0.725 yesterday.
Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.48% to $45.15 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 0.42% to $42.75 per barrel.
Here’s a look at what’s on tap:
- China: One-year loan prime rate and five-year LPR release at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN