LONDON ( The Deal) -- Japan's market fell in part because of a massive $2.1 billion loss at Sony ( SNE) , which has decided not to pay dividends this year for the first time since 1958. But the Chinese and Hong Kong markets got a jolt of energy overnight on news that China's central bank injected 500 billion yuan ($81 billion) of liquidity into the country's top five lenders for three months, in what analysts expect to be the first of several stimulus measures in the coming weeks.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.14% at 15,888.67. But in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was up 1.0% at 24,376.41 and the Shanghai Composite was up 0.49% at 2,307.89.
In Europe, markets are rising, more on expectation than on fact. Traders are waiting for the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy update. Attention is focused on just two words. Will the Fed -- or won't it -- stick the formulation that interest rates will be held low for a "considerable time?" If the phrase stays, the world can breathe easier. If it goes, maybe rates will rise sooner than later.
Watch the video below for more on how European markets are doing in midday trading Wednesday:
Elsewhere, Britain's unemployment rate fell to 6.2% for the three months to July, its lowest for six years. Economists now expect wage growth to be a determining factor in when the Bank of England raises interest rates. But excluding the distorting effect of bonuses, wages are rising at less than half the rate of inflation. The Bank of England's monetary policy committee was once again split 7 to 2 on whether to raise its policy rate. Meanwhile, August inflation in the eurozone, which doesn't include the U.K., has been revised upwards from 0.3% to an almost as disappointing 0.4% on an annual basis. No one will be in a hurry to raise rates there.