Asian shares mixed after Fed raises interest rates

Gold Prices at Risk as Range Floor Breaks Before Fed Policy Call

There was no indication of the size and scope of the tariffs, which U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday would target China's high-technology sector and could also include restrictions on Chinese investments in the United States. Both inflation and productivity growth are sluggish, which suggests wages should be as well. It added $2.05, or 3 percent, to $69.47 a barrel in London.

The U.S. unemployment rate by the end of 2018 is expected to edge down to 3.8%, indicating the Fed sees more room for the labor market to run.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose to as high as US$65.74 per barrel, not far from its January peak of US$66.66, having gained nearly five percent so far this week. However, the forecasts for 2019 and 2020 were raised.

"I would expect, overall, that mortgages would become a percentage point more expensive, something in that range". It is the sixth increase since December 2015, when it began raising rates from rock-bottom levels.

At 04:07 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.81 percent at 3,254.31, while China's blue-chip CSI300 index was 1.06 percent lower at 4,018.04.

In the energy market, oil prices stood near six-week highs and closed in on a 3-year peak set in late January, helped by a surprise decline in U.S. inventories, strong compliance on Opec production cuts, and persistent concerns related to the nuclear pact with Iran.

LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - The threat of a global trade war and a steady message from the Federal Reserve on US interest rates pushed the dollar to its lowest in over a month on Thursday and took Europe's main share markets into the red.

Investors will also look for signs that Fed policymakers are leaning toward four rate hikes this year, rather than the three that financial markets now expect. The decision will be released at 2:00 p.m.

Fed policymakers will also release their quarterly economic projections after the meeting. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates, and investors will be watching closely for clues about how many more increases the central bank may make this year and also for the Fed's assessment of how the economy is doing. Analysts expect that they will slightly raise their forecasts for economic growth and lower their projections for the unemployment rate.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was 0.3 per cent lower at 89.520 after dropping as much as 0.7 per cent overnight.

Investors are cautious as they await the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's first meeting under its new chairman, Jerome Powell, and his subsequent news conference.

The unanimous decision on Wednesday's rate hike signals to Wall Street that Powell, for the time being, will stick with his precedessor Janet Yellen's plans for gradual rate increases.

For years after the financial crisis, the Fed raised rates slowly to keep the economy humming.

"Today's hike confirms that China's hiking cycle will continue after the new PBoC Governor Yi Gang takes charge", Betty Wang, senior China economist with ANZ Research, wrote in a note.

Dow and S&P 500 futures were down 0.1 percent ahead of the Fed announcement, while the dollar was down 0.2 percent at 106.30 yen.

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