Asia’s benchmark stock gauge fluctuated as investors weighed the prospect of further sanctions against Russia and awaited the Federal Reserve’s policy statement. Japan Display Inc. sank in its trading debut.
Kingsoft Corp. jumped 7.4 percent in Hong Kong to head for a record close after the Chinese computer software maker posted earnings that beat analyst estimates. Newcrest Mining Ltd. advanced 2.6 percent in Sydney after CLSA Asia Pacific Markets raised its rating on the stock to buy. Japan Display tumbled 15 percent on its first trading day in Tokyo after the supplier of screens for Apple Inc. devices raised 318.5 billion yen ($3.1 billion) through an initial public offering.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent to 135.34 as of 1:12 p.m. in Hong Kong, after falling and rising as much as 0.4 percent earlier. The U.S. and Europe pledged more sanctions against Russia while President Vladimir Putin, pushing to annex Crimea, said his country didn’t intend to further split Ukraine. The Federal Open Market Committee will end a two-day policy meeting today, after data yesterday indicated the U.S. home-building industry is stabilizing.
“Investors still remain highly cautious,” Matthew Sherwood, who helps manage about $25 billion as the Sydney-based head of investment markets research at Perpetual Ltd., said by phone. “Risk assets have recovered most of their lost ground since the Ukraine crisis was sparked a few weeks ago but there’s still a lot of volatility. The Fed will probably water down their forward guidance and keep U.S. interest rates low for at least another 18 months.”