Wall Street eked out slight gains in the last session following the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep rates unchanged. In Asia, futures implied indexes would track their American counterparts.
U.S. stocks closed slightly higher in the last session: The Dow Jones industrial average tacked on 0.28 percent, or 72.5 points, to close at 26,149.39. Other indexes stateside also finished the day with slight gains: The S&P 500 closed 0.05 percent higher and the Nasdaq composite ended up 0.12 percent.
Also on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced it was holding rates steady, a move that was widely expected. The Federal Open Market Committee also said it expected inflation pressure to pick up as the year progressed.
Markets stateside also digested better-than-expected employment numbers. Private payrolls rose by 234,000 in January, according to a report from ADP and Moody’s Analytics, topping the 185,000 forecast in a Reuters poll.
Back in Asia, futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese equities at the market open after the Nikkei 225 closed lower for the sixth consecutive session on Wednesday. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.77 percent at 23,275 compared to the index’s last close. Osaka futures were higher by 0.57 percent.
Over in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.33 percent in early trade on broad based strength across most sectors. The materials and energy sectors were among the best-performers around the market open.
Markets in Malaysia will be closed for Federal Territory Day.
The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against six rivals, recovered to trade at 89.143 after falling as low as 88.780 overnight.
Against the yen, the greenback firmed overnight to trade at 109.21. The Japanese currency had slipped in the last session after Japan’s central bank increased its purchases of three to five year Japanese government bonds.
Nintendo on Wednesday announced third-quarter profit rose 261 percent to 116.5 billion yen ($1.07 billion), beating a forecast of 69.3 billion yen. The company also said it now projected it will sell 15 million units of its Switch console in the 12 months ending March 2018. That was above the 14 million previously forecast.
Investors are expected to keep an eye on China Caixin manufacturing PMI due later in the morning. Official data released Wednesday showed January factory activity in the country had expanded less than expected.
Meanwhile, India’s budget for the year will be presented at 1:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.
The economic calendar for Thursday is relatively top heavy (all times in HK/SIN):
- 8:00 a.m.: South Korea trade data
- 8:30 a.m.: Australia building permits
- 8:30 a.m.: Nikkei manufacturing PMI for Japan and South Korea
- 9:45 a.m.: China Caixin manufacturing PMI
- 4:30 p.m.: Hong Kong retail sales