Asian stock indexes were broadly lower on Wednesday as traders braced themselves for the upcoming announcement from the U.S. Federal Reserve later in the day. Though Japan’s Nikkei 225 managed to trade higher, all other indexes were in the red. The Nikkei 225 was up 0.38 percent as of 3:21 p.m. HK/SIN, buoyed by gains in the shipping and real estate sectors. Automakers also enjoyed widespread gains on Wednesday. Also supporting the Nikkei was a jump in Toshiba share prices after the company announced a major share buyback. Toshiba surged more than 7 percent on Wednesday.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 1,03 percent. Shares of ZTE sunk more than 40 percent after trading of the telecommunications stock had been halted since April after the U.S. banned the company from importing U.S. parts. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.97 percent and the Kospi was down a modest 0.05 percent. Australia’s ASX 200 declined 0.51 percent. South Korean and Indonesian markets were closed on Wednesday. The losses in Asia came after another positive day on Wall Street, with the technology sector leading indexes higher.
On Wednesday the World Trade Organization warned that if the brewing trade war between the United States and its strategic trade partners continues to intensify, the global economy could be negatively impacted. As reported by Reuters, WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo told German’s Handelsblatt publication that “we’re already seeing signs that this downward process has already started.” He urged global leaders to maintain dialogue in order to prevent the trade war from escalating.