Asian markets rise ahead of Fed meeting

Asian markets rose in early trading Wednesday, as traders awaited reassurance from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

inched up about 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite

edged up 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi

rose 0.8%, while benchmark indexes gained in Taiwan

, Singapore

and Indonesia

. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

advanced 0.9%. Japan’s Nikkei was closed for a holiday.

In South Korea, Samsung Electronics

shares were down slightly after the tech giant reported a slight decline in net quarterly profit, despite increased demand for its memory chips.

“That didn’t take long for Asia to get back on the rally bus,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist for AxiTrader, in a note. “Traders are expecting a significant rewrite in today’s FOMC policy statement when the Fed will, in unambiguous terms, send clear messaging that extraordinary policy settings will remain in place for as long as it takes.”

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak Wednesday after the Fed ends its two-day meeting. While no action on interest rates is expected, the Fed chief is expected to offer a reassuring message to investors…

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