Asian markets lead the way higher

Asian markets lead the way higher

Asian markets have traded higher today (May 20), with Japan’s Nikkei 225 ending the day up 0.5 per cent to 16,736.35.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.7 per cent to 2,825.48 today, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.9 per cent to 19,866.10.

A positive trading day in Asia could pave the way for US stocks to climb higher following yesterday’s session, when US stocks fell in response to the increased chance of a June rate hike as revealed by the Federal Reserve’s April meeting.

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The release of the Fed minutes has seen markets increase the chance of a rate rise in June to 32 per cent, from just 4 per cent on Monday (May 16).

Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG Group, noted yesterday the Dow Jones index fell to a two-month low, “bringing the FTSE down with it as rate sensitive banks benefit at the expense of the wider market”.