Asia��s benchmark stock index was little changed after the regional gauge declined for three days, as investors await indications on growth and policy direction from the Federal Reserve.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index traded at 143.76 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo, before markets open in Hong Kong and China. The measure last week touched the highest level since June 2008 amid improving U.S. economic data and indications Chinese growth is stabilizing. The Fed��s two-day policy gathering starts today.
The Fed will this week reduce its stimulatory asset-purchase program by $10 billion for a fifth straight month, to $35 billion, according to the median of 43 economists�� estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Analysts predict data today will show U.S. consumer-price growth held at 2 percent in May from a year earlier, while the number of new homes started probably dropped to a 1.03 million annualized rate from 1.07 million in April.
The International Monetary Fund yesterday cut its growth forecast for the U.S. economy in 2014. The IMF now sees expansion of 2 percent, down from an April estimate of 2.8 percent, while it left its 2015 prediction unchanged at 3 percent. The lender said it doesn��t expect the U.S. will see full employment until the end of 2017, amid low inflation.
Source : Bloomberg