Fed rate decision, Samsung earnings, oil and currencies

Stocks in Australia were set to edge higher at the open as investors await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates, expected later on Wednesday stateside.

The SPI futures contract was at 5,325, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,313.10. Australia’s inflation data is expected to be out on Wednesday, with the Consumer Price Index for the first quarter set to be released around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

On the corporate earnings front, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is set to post its first quarter results on Wednesday.

Markets in Japan are closed on Wednesday for a holiday.

In central bank news, the Fed is expected to announce its interest rate decision at 2:00 a.m. HK/SIN on Thursday. Investors will look for guidance on the U.S. central bank’s future path of interest rates as the country looks toward gradually reopening its economy.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a four-session winning streak as it closed 32.23 points lower at 24,101.55. The S&P 500 ended its trading day 0.5% lower at 2,863.39 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.4% to close at 8,607.73.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 99.865 after earlier falling to levels around 99.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.78 per dollar after strengthening sharply from levels above 107.2 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6494 following a rise from levels below $0.648 yesterday.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap for Wednesday:

  • Australia: Consumer Price Index for the first quarter at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • South Korea: Samsung Electronics earnings

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