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Asian stocks are headed for an uncertain morning session after the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged but signalled it remained on course for further increases this year.

Most of the region’s stock markets are trading again today with the sole exception of China, which won’t come back online until Monday.

Futures tip Tokyo’s broad Topix Index to open 0.1 per cent higher but the price-focused Nikkei 225 to open 0.1 per cent lower, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is set to open down by the same amount. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 is up 0.2 per cent in morning trade.

On Wall Street the S&P 500 had finished the marginally higher after four straight days of losses, with Apple’s stock up 6 per cent after the company reported strong quarterly earnings. In London the FTSE 100 closed Wednesday up 0.1 per cent.

Earnings reports out today include Sony (14.00), Mitsubishi (13.00), Mitsubishi Electric (12.15), Panasonic (15.30) and Toyota Industries (10.40).

The economic calendar starts out strong but quickly loses steam (all times Hong Kong):

  • 07.50: Japan monetary base
  • 08.30: Australia building approvals, trade balance
  • 08.30: Vietnam Nikkei manufacturing PMI
  • 08.30: Taiwan Nikkei manufacturing PMI
  • 21.00: Singapore PMI
  • Vietnam imports, exports, trade balance and consumer inflation data are also due out some time today.

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