Asia Mostly Higher as U.S. Fed Meeting Starts

Markets in Asia were mostly higher on Tuesday as investors awaited the start of a closely-watched meeting by the U.S. Federal Reserve, set to kick off later stateside.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 151.29 points, or 0.7%, to 20,972.71, as shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing, Softbank Group and Fanuc fell.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.25 against the U.S. dollar after touching levels above 108.6 in the previous session.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index skyrocketed 271.61 points, or 1%, to 27,498.77, with shares of Chinese tech heavyweight Tencent jumping more than 1.5%.

Korean markets gained, as shares of biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion rose 1.46%.

The Australian dollar tumbled to $0.6830 U.S. as the minutes from the June policy meeting of the country’s central bank showed that further monetary easing was "more likely than not," and was necessary to push employment down. It last changed hands at $0.6839.

The Fed is scheduled to start a two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday stateside. Expectations for any policy changes are low, but investors will look for clues about potential rate cuts this year.

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 regained 12.8 points, or 0.4%, to 3,667.62

Meanwhile, on the U.S.-China trade front, hundreds of businesses stateside are attempting to send a message to U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to discourage them from increasing tariffs on China.

That comes as U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says Trump is "perfectly happy" to impose new tariffs on China if the two economic powerhouses don’t "make a deal."

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index recovered 7.98 points, or 0.4%, to 2,098.71

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index recouped 30.74 points, or 1%, to 3,238.73

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index improved 36.2 points, or 0.3%, to 10,566.74

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 gained 21.07 points, or 0.2%, to 10,191.33

In Australia, the ASX 200 picked up 39.09 points, or 0.6%, to 6,570