Asia Mostly Lower as U.S. Fed Seen More Dovish

Stocks in Asia saw broad declines on Friday, amid expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could be less aggressive than expected with monetary policy when it meets next week.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 98.4 points, or 0.5%, to 21,658.15, as shares of index heavyweight Softbank Group gained 1.09% after the conglomerate launched Vision Fund 2, the sequel to its landmark investment fund.

Shares of automaker Nissan Motor dropped 3.21%, after the company announced Thursday it would slash 12,500 jobs worldwide following a 95.5% drop in its first-quarter operating profit.

Meanwhile, Tokyo could rule to remove Seoul from a so-called white list with minimum trade restrictions as soon as August 2.

The Japanese yen, widely viewed as a safe-haven currency, traded at 108.61 against the U.S. dollar after weakening sharply from levels below 108.4 in the previous session.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index subtracted 196.56 points, or 0.7%, to 28,397.74, after the city reported Thursday that it saw its biggest annual drop in exports in almost three and a half years in June.

Australian markets decreased Friday as most sectors fell. The Australian dollar was at $0.6939 after slipping from levels above $0.696 yesterday.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 eked up 7.5 points, or 0.2%, to 3,858.57

In Korea, the Kospi index lost 8.22 points, or 0.4%, to 2,066.26

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index removed 17.5 points, or 0.5%, to 3,363.76

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index settled 49.43 points, or 0.5%, to 10,891.98

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 swooned 90.68 points, or 0.8%, to 10,807.61

In Australia, the ASX 200 tumbled 24.64 points, or 0.4%, to 6,793.39