U.S. stock indices edged lower on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen hinted at a possibility of a rate hike in December and New York Fed President William Dudley supported her point of view. Yellen said that the U.S. economy will continue growing at a pace sufficient for further progress in the labor market and inflation. She said the central bank could raise rates in December if new data meet policymakers' expectations. Yellen added that the bank hasn't made a decision yet.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 50.57 points, or 0.3%, to 17,867.58. The S&P 500 lost 7.46 points, or 0.4%, to 2,102.33 (eight out of its 10 sectors fell with energy and consumer discretionary sector stocks leading declines). The Nasdaq Composite slid 2.65 points, or less than 0.1%, to 5,142.48.
Meanwhile data by the Automatic Data Processing showed that the pace of employment in the U.S. private sector slowed in October, but still slightly exceeded economists' expectations. The number of employed rose by 182,000 compared to 190,000 in September (revised from 200,000) and 180,000 expected.
This morning in Asia Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 0.23%, or 52.82, to 23,106.39. China Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.69%, or 93.12, to 3.552.76. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.96%, or 180.96, to 19,107.87.
Asian indices advanced. Japanese stocks rose amid a stronger dollar and a weaker yen. Successful initial public offering of Japan Post Holdings on Wednesday also supported stocks.