Asian stocks tracked lower with the exception of Japan as investors await a policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve later Wednesday. Meanwhile U.S. stock futures and European stocks rose after a board member of the European Central Bank hinted at more easing.
The U.S. central bank is expected to keep interest rates unchanged after the European Central Bank agreed to more easing last week and China cut rates and banks' reserve requirements.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.8 percent, South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.4 percent and India’s Sensex ended 0.78 percent lower. China's Shanghai stocks lost 0.7 percent, Shenzhen was down 2.25 percent while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext index was down over 3 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei, however, bucked the trend and rose 0.6 percent.
Finance and insurance stocks weighed on Chinese indexes, as investors continued to digest weak bank earnings and deposit rate liberalization, reports said.
Sentiment among European bourses was positive after Sweden’s central bank stepped up quantitative easing, while European Central Bank Executive Board Member Benoit Coeure said further measures may be needed to revive lackluster inflation, according to reports.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was trading up 0.5 percent, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.42 percent, while Germany’s DAX was up 0.7 percent and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.6 percent.
Wall Street is also set to open marginally above after Apple Inc. forecast another record holiday season. The S&P index was up 0.21 percent, Nasdaq was up 0.31 percent and the Dow Jones index was up by about 0.14 percent during pre-market trading.