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Asian Investors Cautious Before U.S. Fed D

Asian stock markets fell back Wednesday on weak earnings and discouraging forecasts. Most major indexes were off around 1%, despite a positive lead-in from Wall Street.

Investors remained cautious regarding the rate cut almost universally expected from the U.S. Federal Reserve later in the day. "The primary focus of the market is whether the Fed will offer another rate cut at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting and if the size of the rate cut will satisfy the market's expectations," said Hideyuki Suzuki, an analyst at Morningstar Japan. "If the Fed does not deliver a rate cut or if the rate cut comes in at a smaller than expected size, the stock market may react negatively," he said.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index was off 1%, or 133.83 points, to 13,345.03. Japanese energy stocks led the downside, with Tokyo Electric Power (other-otc: TKECF - news

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