Asian markets buoyed Thursday ahead of a crucial decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve on interest rates, with most regional stock markets clocking gains amid a global rally. In Europe, meanwhile, England’s FTSE fell by 0.4 percent and the Euronext index went down 0.1 percent. France’s CAC was up 0.1 percent and Germany’s DAX was up 0.3 percent.
The Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.4 percent, Australia’s S&P ASX went up 0.93 percent, India’s Sensex rose 1 percent, and South Korea’s Kospi index stayed flat with gains of 0.1 percent at closing.
However, China’s markets bucked the trend, with the Shanghai Composite index closing down 2.1 percent and the Shenzhen Component index dropping 1.5 percent. The Hang Seng index closed down 0.51 percent. The continued losses come after months of sharp slowdown and continued volatility in the world’s second-largest economy, which has led to concerns about the effectiveness of the Chinese government’s attempts to restore stability to the country’s troubled markets. China’s problems were exacerbated when the country devalued its yuan currency last month.
The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is set to decide whether to raise short-term interest rates Thursday afternoon, which, if raised, would be the first time interest rates were allowed to rise in nearly a decade. Futures markets indicated a 23 percent chance of rates being increased, down from 45 percent a month ago, according to CME Group Inc.
"It's hard to recall an event given so much attention from market players, the implications are far reaching and history provides absolutely no guide," Chris Weston, chief markets strategist in Melbourne at IG Ltd., said, according to Agence France-Presse.
In the U.S., the Dow and the Nasdaq had both fallen over 0.1 percent in premarket trading, dipping after a two-day rally.
Several international economic voices have warned the Fed to refrain from raising interest rates for the next few months. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as other economists, have warned that raising interest rates could jeopardize a precarious global recovery.
"The underpinnings for continued growth and job creation remain in place. However, momentum was sapped in recent months by a series of negative shocks," the IMF said in a May memo.