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Asian Stock Markets Choppy Ahead of US Federal Reserve Policy Release

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Last updated: 01/26/2022 05:30:57

05:30 AM EST, 01/26/2022 (MT Newswires) -- Asian stock markets finished choppily Wednesday, as traders weighed soaring omicron infection rates and awaited the after-market policy decision by the US Federal Reserve. Hong Kong and Shanghai gained, but Tokyo lost ground, and other regional exchanges were mixed.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened evenly on but wobbled in trading, finishing down 0.4% as record-high COVID-19 new case tallies were recorded in Tokyo.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 120.01 to 27,011.33, striking a 13-month low as losing issues outnumbered gainers 130 to 89.

In other news, Tokyo officials reported a fresh daily zenith of 14,086 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, following the previous record of 12,813 cases the day before, reported The Mainichi newspaper.

In economic news, Japan's services producer price index rose 1.1% in December from a year earlier, reported the Bank of Japan. The index measures the price of services in business-to-business transactions.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index edged forward 0.2% on Wednesday as the property and tech sectors made gains.

The broad gauge Hang Seng rose 46.29 to 24,289.90, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 34 to 25. The Hang Seng TECH Index rose 0.8% on the day, while the Mainland Properties Index rose 0.1%.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.7% to 3,455.67.

On the other exchanges, the S. Korean KOSPI fell 0.4%; the Taiwan TWSE declined 0.2%; the Australian ASX 200 tumbled 2.5%; the Singapore Straits Times Index rose 0.7%, and the Thai Set inclined 0.3%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up 0.6%.

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