Asian shares mostly lower on worries over global growth, Fed

TOKYO (AP) " Asian shares mostly sagged in sluggish trading Wednesday on concerns over weaker global growth and uncertainty about the U.S. Federal Reserve's plans for interest rates.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.2 percent in morning trading to 16,689.31. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was flat at 23,223.42, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1 percent to 5,212.50. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.4 percent to 3,011.55. Shares were lower in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan. South Korean markets were closed for a national holiday.

FED FACTOR: Markets are watching for what the Federal Reserve might do on interest rates, weighing various economic indicators. Economists say December is the most likely time for the Fed to hike rates for the first time this year.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 1.4 percent to 18,066.75. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell dropped 1.5 percent to 2,127.02 and the Nasdaq composite lost 1.1 percent, to 5,155.25.

THE QUOTE: "The Federal Reserve blackout period is now upon us, giving traders a week to speculate on the impact of what has been said and the few pieces of data we get between now and the decision next Wednesday," Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

"While a hawkish consensus does appear to be building among the committee, the absence of some key policy makers from this makes a hike at the meeting next week very unlikely."

ENERGY: The price of oil recovered some of its 3 percent overnight drop which followed International Energy Agency remarks about weaker oil demand due to slower global economic activity. Benchmark crude rose 23 cents to $45.13 a barrel. It fell $1.39, or 3 percent, to $44.90 a barrel in New York Tuesday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, inched up 16 cents to $47.26 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 102.99 yen from 101.98 yen late Tuesday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1224 from $1.1233.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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