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Asian Stock Markets Close in Positive Territory as Investors Await Fed Meeting Minutes

Asian stock markets closed on a positive note on, February 20, 2023, as investors awaited the release of the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes.

Tokyo’s Nikkei rose by 18.81 points or +0.07%, closing at 27,531.94 points, as investors anticipated a speech to parliament by Bank of Japan governor Kazuo Ueda. The Central Bank of Japan’s meeting is scheduled for later this week.

Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed slightly higher, up 4.70 points, or +0.064%, at 7,351.50 points. The All Ordinaries, at 7,552.50, was up 0.30 points, or +0.0040%. The positive momentum in the market was driven by buying into banking, energy, and real estate stocks.

The South Korean Composite (KOSPI) also closed slightly higher, up 3.91 points or +0.16% at 2,455.12 points. Investors remained cautious about the direction of US monetary policy, amid high inflation.

China’s Shanghai Composite closed up 66.31 points or +2.06% at 3,290.34 points as the People’s Bank of China held interest rates unchanged, as expected.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 167.15 points or +0.81% at 20,886.96 points, following gains on the Dow Jones Industrial Average last Friday, February 17. There are speculations that the Fed may raise interest rates again, after US inflation was higher than expected. However, Fed officials have expressed their support for raising interest rates.

Investors are looking forward to the release of the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes this week, hoping for more clarity on the direction of US monetary policy.

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