Asian stocks saw muted gains Tuesday as markets entered a holding pattern ahead of this week’s key Federal Reserve decision. The dollar and Treasuries were little changed.
Stocks ticked higher in Japan, South Korea and Australia with little in the way of fresh catalysts. Hong Kong and Shanghai equity gauges also opened in the green. On Wall Street, the Nasdaq 100 Index posted a modest gain as technology shares outperformed, while the S&P 500 Index closed flat. Crude oil held overnight losses. The Aussie showed a little immediate reaction to the Reserve Bank of Australia saying that further easing is more likely than not in the period ahead.
Traders are refraining from putting on big bets ahead of the key central bank decision Wednesday, where they will look for signals on the likelihood of interest-rates cuts ahead. There’s a widespread desire for proof the Fed is ready to act, but too much change could raise alarm.
Elsewhere, oil was steady near recent lows with OPEC nations still unable to agree on a date for their next meeting, adding to uncertainty over whether production cuts would be extended.