Apple suppliers, Federal Reserve, currencies and oil

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were set to trade mixed at the open as investors await the Federal Open Market Committee’s quarterly update.

Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,355 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,310. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,454.89.

Shares in Australia, on the other hand, looked poised for opening gains. The SPI futures contract was at 5,941.0, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,894.80.

Apple supplier stocks in the region will be watched by investors after the Cupertino-based tech giant on Tuesday announced new devices and services, including a new Apple Watch and two new iPad models.

Fed watch

Investor focus will also likely be on the U.S. Federal Reserve, where the FOMC’s meeting is scheduled to end Wednesday stateside. The Federal Open Market Committee will give its quarterly update on where it sees GDP, unemployment and inflation going.

“Wednesday’s Federal Reserve monetary policy announcement is the most important event risk on this week’s calendar but many investors are wondering how much impact it will have on the US dollar,” Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign exchange strategy at BK Asset Management, wrote in a note.

“No changes in monetary policy are expected” from the Fed, Lien said, with the “main focus” on the U.S. central bank’s economic projections and its so-called dot plot forecast of interest rate moves.

Ahead of the Fed announcement, the U.S. dollar index — which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers — was at 93.050 after earlier bouncing from levels below 92.9.


The Japanese yen traded at 105.39 per dollar following a strengthening seen earlier this week from levels above 106 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7299 after slipping from levels above $0.733 yesterday.

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