Stocks in Asia-Pacific Fell Ahead of Fed’s Decision

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Stocks in Asia declined on July 28 after Wall Street pulled back from a record as investors awaited a Fed report for signs of when U.S. stimulus might be withdrawn.

Investors also were not sure how much further China will go with a regulatory crackdown that affected shares of tech companies. Shares of Chinese tech giants plunged for the third day as investors waited for possible new action after China stepped up anti-monopoly and data security enforcement against the tech industry.

In Hong Kong, games and social media giant Tencent Holding Ltd. added 0.3%, but it still is down 25% for the month. Shares of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group in Hong Kong were up 1.8% but off 15% for the month.

They were digesting U.S. earnings reports while concerns rose after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation. The agency asked people to wear masks indoors in areas where the Delta variant is spreading.

As mentioned earlier, investors are keeping an eye on a meeting of the Federal Reserve board that began on Tuesday. That meeting is expected to bring an update on when the Federal Reserve might start to reduce bond purchases. The central bank already injected a lot of money into financial markets to keep interest rates low.

The Shanghai composite dropped 0.7% to 3,357.2, declining for the third day in a row. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1% to 25,360.77.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 1.4% to 27,581.66. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.1% to 3,236.86. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 20 gave up 0.7% to 7,379.30. India’s Sensex fell 0.4% to 52,383.14.

On Tuesday, U.S. stocks declined for the first time in six days ahead of quarterly earnings reports from several megacap tech companies.

The S&P 500 lost nearly 0.5% to 4,401.46 led to the downside by consumer names, tech, and energy. The broad equity benchmark declined 1.1% at its session low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 85.79 points or 0.2% to close at 35,058.52. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.2% 14,660.58. Unfortunately, the main averages fell from their respective records reached in the previous session.

The sell-off on Wall Street followed yet another day of losses in Asian markets. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell more than 4% on Tuesday amid China’s crackdown on tech and education companies.

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