Asian shares mixed as Nikkei rises on yen, muted elsewhere


Asian shares mixed as Nikkei rises on yen, muted elsewhere

Analysts said that Japanese share prices rallied as concerns over North Korea, the USA economy and a higher yen receded.

In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 0.1 percent at 12,552 while the CAC 40 in France was steady at 5,240.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was flat at 20,298.80 and South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.1 percent to 2,413.63.

TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Asian shares slipped on Tuesday, hobbled by uncertainty as traders awaited a Federal Reserve meeting for clues on USA monetary policy, though sentiment was supported by record highs on Wall Street.

At a two-day meeting beginning later on Tuesday, the Fed is expected to take another step toward policy normalization and announce plans to begin unwinding its $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.05 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was little changed at 28,162.32, while the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.2 percent to 3,355.96.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index rose 3.64 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,503.87.

The Fed is due to begin a two-day monetary policy meeting today and markets will be watching to see how chairwoman Janet Yellen describes recent trends in inflation for the world's largest economy, hoping for clues about the timing of the next interest rate rise.

Sterling slid almost 1 percent, retreating from its highest level since the Brexit vote, after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said any coming interest rate rises would be limited and gradual. Both indexes closed at new record highs as the market extended gains from last week.

Japanese traders led fresh gains across most Asian markets on Tuesday following yet another record close in NY, with the dollar clawing back some of its recent losses on renewed hopes for Donald Trump's economic agenda.

The dollar hovered close to an eight-week high against the yen, buoyed with U.S. Treasury yields having risen to one-month highs before the Fed's policy announcement.

The euro was 0.2 percent higher at $1.1980. "If the Fed does keep the option for December alive, and reaffirms its view in terms of gradual rate increases, that may be dollar-supportive, given the more benign rate-hike path priced by the market", said Mitul Kotecha, head of Asia macro strategy for Barclays in Singapore. Brent crude slipped 0.1 percent to $55.42, not far from an nearly five-month high of $55.99 marked on Thursday. It rose 2 cents to $49.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday.

In commodities, crude oil prices rose, remaining buoyant ahead of Friday's meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers to discuss the state of their 1.8-million barrel-per-day supply cut deal.