Asian stocks mostly higher after Fed statement

<p>The US Federal Reserve has decided to leave interest rates at record low.</p>

Asian stocks mostly rose today (July 30th) after the US Federal Reserve decided to leave its benchmark short-term interest rate near zero.

In a statement yesterday after a two-day policy meeting, the Fed said that while it is seeing improvement in the job market and the overall economy, there are concerns that inflation remains too low. It also did not give any indication about the timing of the first rate increase.

"You have to hand it to the Federal Reserve. They look primed to put up the Fed funds rate in September, perhaps December. Yet at the same time, equities looks supported and the yield curve remains unchanged," IG chief strategist Chris Weston said in a market commentary. "If the object of its communication exercise is to ease the market into a normalisation process without causing a stir in capital markets, then you would give their performance a nine out of ten."

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index fell again today after rebounding 3.5 per cent yesterday, despite the government intervention to stabilise markets. The index lost 2.2 per cent to 3,705.77.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.5 per cent to 24,497.98 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 1.1 per cent to 20,525.80. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.8 per cent to 5,669.50, while Seoul's Kospi slid 0.9 per cent to 2,019.03.

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