The Federal Reserve’s view of its stance on monetary policy will be closely watched after an increase in Treasury yields fueled fears of high inflation as the economy recovers from the lows caused by the pandemic. The US central bank’s policy statement and economic outlook is due to be released at 2 pm EST (1800 GMT).
BMW rose 1.9% after the group said it expects a year-on-year increase in profit before tax for 2021, as it expects strong performance in all divisions.
Automobile manufacturers rose 0.8%, leading the sectors’ gains, while travel, entertainment, oil and gas and mining sectors led the decline. Credit Suisse fell 0.5% after Kepler Chevro reduced its recommendation for the Swiss bank to “hold”, attributing this to concerns related to the Greensel Financial Group case.
For his part, Japanese shares closed steadily, on Wednesday, as gains in the health care sector were matched by the sale of shares in the technology sector that reaped profits despite the continuing state of caution in general before the “reserve” and Bank of Japan meetings.
The Nikkei index closed down 0.02 percent to 29,914.33 points, while the broader Topix index rose 0.13 percent to 1,984.03 points.
Analysts said that sentiment towards Japan’s stocks remains relatively positive, thanks to robust forecasts for the global economy and progress in vaccination campaigns to prevent the Covid-19 virus.
Japan shares are likely to move in a narrow range until the end of the month as investors are reluctant to take positions before the end of the fiscal year on March 31. The most profitable stock among the top 30 major companies on Topix was Takeda Pharmaceutical, which gained 2.53 percent, followed by Dai-ichi Sankyo, which gained 1.78 percent. Honda shares fell 1.35 percent after the company announced it would halt production for a week at most major auto factories in the United States and Canada due to supply chain problems. (Agencies)