Asian Market Update: Traders take some profits ahead of FOMC - Australian economic outlook: The WestPac leading index, and index that forecasts economic activity in the next 3 to 9 months, grew at an annualized rate of 4.8% in January. The January reading was down from the 5.4% recorded in December, though still remaining above its long-term trend of 3.9%. WestPac said that the leading index "continues to point to an acceleration in growth in the Australian economy over the next three to nine months." - Asian Equities: Asian equities are trading cautiously ahead of tomorrow's FOMC statement and with the Nikkei 225 closed in observance of a holiday. The Kospi opened in positive territory after Q4 GDP growth was revised upwards, but gave back all of its gains as traders shifted focus to the FOMC. Gains on the Kospi were driven by shipbuilding stocks. The ASX 200 index is little changed after failing to hold above the 5895 fibo resistance level. Gains in mining related shares and David Jones were offset by losses in shares of Fosters and Alinta. Taiwan equities are higher by more than 0.35% as technology shares tracked earlier gains on the Nasdaq. Chinese equities opened at a new all-time high and are currently extending gains. Gains in China are being driven by lenders, along with property and resource stocks. Chinese equities look vulnerable to another round of profit taking with many analysts suggesting that Chinese equity gains cannot be justified given U.S. concerns. The Hang Seng opened higher, but is currently lower on declines in shares of HSBC and China Mobile. Traders are taking profits in shares of China Mobile ahead of its upcoming earnings report. - Forex: The Malaysian ringgit surged to its highest level against the USD in 9 years after the Prime Minister said that the government need to see the ringgit get stronger. The South Korean won also rallied after press reports that China will no longer accumulate forex reserves. Many analysts doubt the credibility of the reports. There is speculation that the S Korean central bank won't stem the Korean Won gains to protect exports as the JPY advances. The continuing drop in stock market volatility added demand for high yielding currencies during Asian trading. The AUD/USD looks to be well supported above 0.8000. The net speculative long positions on the AUD is well below average at the moment, suggesting the current rally could be extended. Options traders are increasing bets that the GBP will rally against the JPY after today's U.K. inflation data - Commodities: Spot Gold is holding near session's highs and above the $660 level on speculation that the FOMC statement will be USD bearish. Crude oil is higher and above the $59.50 level on speculation that upcoming inventory data will show that US gasoline stocks declined during the prior week. Shanghai copper is lower tracking early profit-taking in the LME contract.