Asia Tentative Ahead of U.S. Fed Meeting

Shares in Asia were tepid on Tuesday, ahead of a closely watched meeting by the U.S. Federal Reserve set to kick off later in the day stateside.

The Nikkei 225 average dropped 17.65 points, or 0.1%, to 21,566.85, despite shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing, Softbank Group and Fanuc seeing gains on the day.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.25 against the U.S. dollar after seeing lows around 111.6 last week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 57.27 points, or 0.2%, to 29,466.28, with shares of HSBC rising more than 0.2%.

Australian stocks fell back a mite. On Tuesday, the release of March policy meeting minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia showed it noted that trade tensions "remained a continued source of uncertainty for the global outlook."

The Australian dollar fell further to $0.7095 U.S. in the afternoon, after touching a two-week high above $0.711 yesterday, when it was boosted by a weaker dollar and a rise in iron ore prices, among other factors.

In other markets

The CSI 300 index faded 17.79 points, or 0.5%, to 3,833.96

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index picked up 7.96 points, or 0.3%, to 3,220.92

Korea’s Kospi Index docked 1.67 points, or 0.1%, to 2,177.62

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index subtracted 0.38 points to 10,512.32

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 moved lower 17.85 points, or 0.2%, to 9,497.27

In Australia, the ASX 200 backpedaled 5.74 points, or 0.1%, to 6,184.79