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Asian Markets Mixed Ahead of FOMC Minutes -

Aug, 18th 03:39

23asia.600[1]

Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday as investors looked ahead to Federal Reserve minutes later in the week.

The Nikkei 225 eased 0.22% by the break, while the Hang Seng index rose the same amount, The Shanghai Composite fell 0.30% and the S&P/ASX 200 gained a slight 0.08% after central bank minutes.

The Australian dollar gained on Tuesday after the central bank said the economy was adjusting to a weaker currency, a sign that it was rebalancing away from a lapsing boom in mining.

Australia’s economy is adjusting to a weaker currency and along with data that dynamic will set the tone for future policy, the Reserve Bank of Australia said in the minutes of its July board meeting released on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, China reported that house prices fell 3.7% year-on-year in July, compared to a 4.9% dip in the previous month.

Overnight, U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Healthcare, Consumer Services and Basic Materials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.39%, while theS&P 500 index added 0.52%, and the NASDAQ Composite index gained 0.86%.

Markets on Monday, shrugged off a weak reading of U.S. manufacturing activity as concerns over the recent devaluation of the yuan eased.

This was offset by another report showing that US house builder sentiment rose to its highest level in nearly a decade this month.

Markets remained supported as investors looked ahead to Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July meeting, which it was hoped would provide more clarity on its plans to hike short-term interest rates for the first time since 2006.

Overall market sentiment was also boosted as concerns over a prolonged depreciation of the yuan eased after China’s central bank on Monday set the midpoint rate slightly firmer than at Friday’s close.

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