ASIAN MARKETS MIXED AFTER US INFLATION DATA AS FED DECISION LOOMS
Markets were mixed Wednesday after an unremarkable US inflation report tempered expectations for an interest rate cut early next year, with attention moving to the Federal Reserve's policy statement later in the day. All three indexes on Wall Street ended positively -- with the S&P 500 at a near three-year high -- following news that consumer prices slowed marginally last month, suggesting the central bank is on course in its fight against inflation. Data showing core prices remained resilient did, however, leave traders disappointed and highlighted the battle officials still have in getting inflation down to their target. While there is a broad expectation that the bank will cut rates next year, traders now think it will be by less than previously tipped and the first will be slightly later.