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Asian Markets Mixed After U.S. Fed Cuts Rate by Quarter Point

Investing.com - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed its benchmark funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, as expected.

The Shanghai Composite slipped 0.1% by 10:45 PM ET (02:45 GMT), while the Shenzhen Component inched up 0.1% after China reported that the country’s official purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing came in at 49.3 in October. The number was previously expected to stay flat .

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.2%.

Traders also paid attention to the Sino-U.S. trade front, as Chile unexpectedly cancelled November’s APEC meeting where Beijing and Washington were said to be signing a partial trade pact. The cancellation was due to social unrest that continued to rock Santiago, reports said.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.3%. The Bank of Japan sets policy on Thursday and Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference.

South Korea’s KOSPI jumped 1.1%. Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics (KS:005930) reported on Thursday that its operating profit for the third quarter fell 56% year-on-year. The number ticked up almost 18% from the last quarter and was higher than the company’s guidance provided earlier this month.

For the fourth quarter, Samsung (KS:005930) said it expects “demand for components to turn sluggish in general amid weak seasonal effects, while marketing expenses are likely to increase to address year-end smartphone sales.”

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 fell 0.5%.

Overnight, the U.S. Fed altered language in a post-meeting statements and indicated that it may pause rate cuts from here, as it removed a key clause that said the Fed was committed to “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a news conference that central bank officials “see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate.”

“We see the current stance of policy as likely to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook.”

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