Asian Equities Steady as Markets Look to Fed and ECB

Asian stock markets were treading water on Wednesday after upbeat U.S. data fanned speculation the Federal Reserve could start slowing its asset buying as early as next month — depressing bond prices and lifting the dollar.

The air of caution was clear in MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan which ticked down 0.2 percent. Australia’s main index dipped 0.3 percent while the Nikkei eased 0.2 percent.

Mirroring the modest moves across the region, shares in Shanghai lost 0.2 percent.   Wall Street had turned lower on Tuesday after the Institute for Supply Management’s October read on the U.S. services sector came in at a surprisingly strong 55.4. It also included a notable jump in the employment outlook which could lessen the chance of a very weak payrolls number on Friday.

Reuters

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