Asian shares open cautiously higher - RTHK
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Asian shares open cautiously higher

2022-01-26 HKT 10:17
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  • In early trade Wednesday morning, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 0.6 percent. Image: Shutterstock
    In early trade Wednesday morning, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 0.6 percent. Image: Shutterstock
Asian share markets got off to a cautious start on Wednesday, after another volatile Wall Street session, as investors braced for the outcome of the Fed's meeting late in the day and any hints about faster tightening of monetary policy.

Concerns that the Fed's expected interest rate hikes could hammer Asia's equities markets have dragged on the regional benchmark, though moves elsewhere have been even more dramatic.

Japan's Nikkei lost 0.8 percent to hover around its lowest level since December 2020.

The Fed is due to update its policy plan later on Wednesday, likely fleshing out timing for expected rate hikes and shrinking its massive balance sheet.

"Asian markets are currently being affected by volatility in global markets, concerns about Fed tightening in the face of higher inflation and uncertainty about events in Russia and Ukraine," said Mansoor Mohi-uddin, chief economist at Bank of Singapore.

Growing tensions as Russian troops massed on Ukraine's border have added to a risk-averse environment for investors.

In early trade Wednesday morning, China's blue-chip index rose 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 0.6 percent.

Hao Hong, Head of Research at BOCOM International, expects limited appetite from investors to hold big positions in Asia after heavy market selling, as the Chinese New Year approaches. (Reuters)