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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Wall Street Up, Asian Stocks Down

Wall Street saw a slight uptick early on Wednesday ahead of a decision on interest rates by the Federal Reserve.

Kristalina Georgieva paid the NYSE a visit, becoming the first IMF Managing Director to ring the opening bell. I Photo: New York Stock Exchange Facebook

Futures for both the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials were up about 0.2% before the bell, as reported by Yuri Kageyama and Matt Ott for the Associated Press (AP),

In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.7% to close at 33,023.78. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.5% to 7,163.30. South Korea’s Kospi remained relatively unchanged, edging up less than 0.1% to 2,559.74.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.6% to 17,885.60, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.5% to 3,108.57.

Trade data for Japan showed that exports fell 0.8% last month compared to a year earlier, marking the second straight month of declines, with exports to China experiencing an 11% decrease.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Japan’s exports to the US, on the other hand, rose by 5.1%, while exports to Europe surged by 12.7%. In terms of product categories, auto exports saw a significant increase of 40.9%, while semiconductor exports rose by 8.1%, according to data from the Finance Ministry.

Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

The Federal Reserve convened on Tuesday for a two-day meeting on interest rates and is set to announce a policy decision later on Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to maintain its benchmark rate at its current level, around 5.3%, which is a more than two-decade high.

There is a broader divide in thinking about whether the Fed will raise rates again this year, but most anticipate that rates will start to be reduced at some point next year.

Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

Lowering rates can inject vitality into markets, which is part of the reason why the Fed has maintained elevated rates. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is aiming to slow down speculative investments and cool off a red-hot job market to bring inflation under control.

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