The Asian stock markets are expected to open higher on Thursday following the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, which suggested that the central bank is losing patience with the pace of the fragile U.S. economic recovery
Many members of the Federal Reserve said additional monetary policy accommodation is likely warranted unless the economy improves substantially, potentially opening the door for another round of quantitative easing measures at the next meeting in September.
Also providing support is an upbeat report on existing home sales as the National Association of Realtors said existing home sales rose 2.3 percent to an annual rate of 4.47 million in July from 4.37 million in June.
The major U.S. averages were mixed on Wednesday as the Dow fell 30.82 points or 0.2 percent to finish at 13,172.76, while the NASDAQ rose 6.41 points or 0.2 percent to end at 3,073.67 and the S&P 500 edged up 0.32 points or less than 0.1 percent to close at 1,413.49.
The major European markets were firmly in the red on Wednesday as Germany's DAX dropped 1.01 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index lost 1.42 percent, the French CAC 40 Index tumbled 1.47 percent and the Swiss market dipped 0.66 percent.
The Asian markets were mostly lower on Wednesday as Hong Kong's Hang Seng plummeted 1.06 percent, while Singapore's Straits Times dipped 0.53 percent, China's Shanghai Composite shed 0.50 percent, South Korea's KOSPI lost 0.41 percent, Japan's Nikkei eased 0.3 percent and Taiwan fell 0.13 percent. Malaysia and Thailand each added 0.15 percent, while Indonesia was closed for Eid-ul-Fitr; Jakarta stocks re-open today after a six-day break.
by RTT Staff Writer
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