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U.S. dollar notes are seen in front of a stock graph in this November 7, 2016 picture illustration.Reuters file

Asian shares edged lower on Thursday while dollar nursed losses against a basket of currencies after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled fewer rate hikes than anticipated.

The U.S. central bank officials, meeting for the first time under Chairman Jerome Powell, raised the benchmark lending rate a quarter-point to a range of 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent and forecast at least two more hikes for 2018.

The dollar recorded its steepest one-day loss in nearly two months as the Fed did not suggest that it was leaning toward four rate hikes this year, as some had expected.

Stocks have come under pressure recently on worries over a global trade war, with U.S. President Donald Trump set to announce about $50 billion of tariffs against China over intellectual-property violations on Thursday, reported Bloomberg.

Investors are worried Trump's decision to impose tariffs could escalate into a full-blown trade war if China and other countries retaliate with similar or harsher measures.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 percent, with Japan's Nikkei gaining 0.2 percent in early trade.

The Wall Street stock index ended the day lower, with the S&P 500 losing 0.18 percent and the Nasdaq Composite 0.26 percent.

Back home, SGX Nifty, an early indicator of the Nifty 50's trend in India, signals a positive start for the domestic markets after the benchmark Sensex rose 139 points or 0.42 percent to close at 33,136 on Wednesday.

The partially convertible rupee ended at 65.21 on Wednesday, down 0.02 percent from its previous close of 65.20.

So far this year, the rupee weakened 2 percent, while foreign investors have bought $1.6 billion in equity and sold $311 million in debt market.

Policy meetings: The Bank of England will meet on Thursday, where it's expected to keep interest rates and its asset-purchase program unchanged. New Zealand also has a monetary policy decision on the same day.

Crude check: Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world's oil, rose 0.14 percent at $69.57 per barrel while the West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.20 percent at $65.30 a barrel, on Thursday morning.