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Asian shares lack direction ahead of Jackson Hole

by Jonathan Adams

Shares in Asia lacked direction on Thursday, with investors largely on the sidelines ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole meeting, set to start later in the trading day.

The Nikkei Stock Average closed down 0.3%, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.6% lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was flat, and the South Korean Kospi ended largely unchanged.

Traders remain fixated on what Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will say at her speech on Friday at the Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers, where many hope for some guidance as to when and at what pace the world’s largest economy will raise interest rates.

However, some analysts say that even the expectation of guidance was wishful thinking.

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