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Asian Markets Mixed as Investors Wait for Fed

Investing.com - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Tuesday as traders await key testimony this week from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Powell will testify before Congress on monetary policy and the state of the U.S. economy on Wednesday and Thursday.

Markets previously expected an interest rate cut later this month, but recent data that showed the American economy was better-than-expected increased uncertainty over what to expect from the Fed’s July policy meeting.

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.5% by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT). The Shenzhen Component traded 0.1% higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.7%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched up 0.1%, while South Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.1%.

Tensions between the two countries continue to rise after Japan’s Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said today that Japan was “not thinking at all” of withdrawing restrictions on Japanese high-tech exports to South Korea.

“Whether Japan implements additional measures depends on South Korea’s response,” he told a news conference after a cabinet meeting.

Last Monday, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry issued a statement that Tokyo “will apply updated licensing policies and procedures on the export and transfer of controlled items and their relevant technologies to (South Korea).”

“Through careful consideration among the relevant ministries in Japan, the Government of Japan cannot help but state that the Japan-(South Korea) relationship of trust including in the field of export control and regulation has been significantly undermined,” the statement said.

Data today showed Japan’s real wage fell 1.0% in May, after a downwardly revised 1.4% annual decline in April.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 was down 0.3%.

In the U.S., shares in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell overnight after Rosenblatt Securities downgraded the stock.

Apple “will face fundamental deterioration over the next 6-12 months,” analyst Jun Zhang wrote in a note that was cited by Bloomberg.

Apple suppliers in Asia traded lower following the news, with Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology falling 1.2%, Hong Kong’s AAC Technologies Holdings down 2%, while Japan’s Alps Alpine dropped 1.4%.

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