The Nikkei Index slipped lower on Wednesday, with investors moving to the side lines ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting, while shares such as Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd disappointed the market.
Chinese markets are expected to end July in positive territory, supported by the property sector after China's politburo declared more official tolerance towards increases in home prices.
According to Reuters, European markets are expected to edge slightly lower at the open on Wednesday with investors cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy announcement later tonight.
Reuters reports that the technology heavy NASDAQ Composite index gained on Tuesday, lifted by advances in the share price of Facebook, which surged 6.2% higher to close at $37.63, near to its listing price of $38, on the back of excellent quarterly results released last Wednesday.
Business Day reports that Naspers, the media conglomerate and telecommunications group, MTN Group helped the JSE close higher on Tuesday, while mining shares consolidated after a recent rally, but banking group ABSA suffered heavily on its interim results that disappointed the market.
The Rand was last trading slightly lower at R9.8546 against the Dollar, weaker at R13.0760 against the Euro, but firmer at R14.9580 against the British Pound.
The gold price has risen in Asian trade on Wednesday, lifted by month-end fund purchases, as well as on hopes that the easy monetary policies from central banks will continue for a bit longer. Gold was last trading at $1 331.40, with the platinum price quoted at $1 440.00, while the palladium price was at $733.90.
Brent crude oil was last trading lower at $106.64 a barrel.