Asia report: Stocks lower as investors look to Fed decsion
Stock markets were on the back foot in Asia on Monday, as investors began to close their pocketbooks ahead of the next interest rate decision from the US Federal Reserve this week.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.21% at 27,842.33, as the yen weakened 0.11% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 136.71.
Fashion firm Fast Retailing was down 0.31%, while automation specialist Fanuc added 0.57% and technology conglomerate SoftBank Group rose 0.6%.
The broader Topix index was 0.22% weaker by the end of trading in Tokyo, settling at 1,957.33.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was off 0.87% at 3,179.04, and the technology-heavy Shenzhen Component was 0.89% lower at 11,399.13.
South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.67% to 2,373.02, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong tumbled 2.2% to 19,463.63.
The blue-chip technology stocks were on the back foot in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics down 1.49% and SK Hynix 0.49% lower.
“Asian markets were uncertain overnight, with optimism over China’s relaxation of Covid-19 measures offset by the scale of the challenges ahead in repairing the economic damage which has been done,” said Interactive Investor head of markets Richard Hunter.
“A stabilising property sector and hopes of additional stimulus from the authorities have provided some support, although a trade data reading showed not only a stuttering economy but also some weakening of international demand, which could also impact any potential recovery.”
Oil prices were lower at the end of the Asian day, with Brent crude futures last down 0.67% on ICE at $75.59 per barrel, and the NYMEX quote for West Texas Intermediate off 0.58% at $70.61.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.45% lower at 7,180.80, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 was off 0.77% at 11,506.45.
The down under dollars were both weaker against the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.29% at AUD 1.4759, and the Kiwi retreating 0.02% to NZD 1.5606.
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.