Asian stocks up as investors shrug off tech rout, eye Fed

Seoul – Asian stock markets were higher on Tuesday as investors brushed off a second straight session of big losses on Wall Street tech stocks a day before the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates. –AP/UNB
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 was flat at 19,912.60 and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.6 percent to 2,372.60. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.4 percent to 25,802.45, while the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.2 percent to 3,147.63. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.4 percent to 5,753.90. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia were higher, but in the Philippines, the benchmark index fell.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “The theme remained centered on the sell-off for tech stocks at the start of the week, though Asian markets could find some relief,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore. “While the extent to which this decline may sustain remains uncertain at the current moment, the move has not triggered a more widespread decline.”
FED WATCH: The Federal Reserve will meet Tuesday and Wednesday, and investors expect the central bank to raise interest rates for the third time since December. Super-low unemployment, gains in factory output and other economic data pointing to a recovery in the U.S. economy have led investors to believe that the Fed will lift rates.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks fell again on Monday as tech stocks recorded sharp losses for a second straight day. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 0.1 percent to 2,429.39. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.2 percent to 21,235.67, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 0.5 percent to 6,175.46.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 23 cents to $46.31 per barrel on electronic trading in New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 25 cents to close at $46.08 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 28 cents to $48.57 per barrel in London. It closed up 14 cents at $48.29 a barrel in the previous session.
CURRENCIES: The dollar gained to 110.04 yen from 109.95, while the euro weakened to $1.119 from $1.120. The British pound stabilized after recent falls and was trading at $1.2665, up 0.1 percent.