Asian Shares Retreat Ahead Of Central Bank Meetings

Asian stocks ended broadly lower on Monday as investors braced for a slew of central bank decisions this week.

The Federal Reserve meets on Wednesday, while the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank will announce their monetary policy decisions on Thursday.

The Bank of Japan is also meeting on Thursday, with no change in interest rates expected.

The dollar hovered near a two-decade peak versus major peers and Treasury yields ticked higher amid bets the Fed will raise its benchmark interest rate by at least 75 basis points at the end of a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

Both gold and oil fell about 1 percent in Asian trading amid dollar strength.

Japanese markets were closed for Old Age Day. Chinese shares ended modestly lower despite the megacity of Chengdu exiting a two-week lockdown and the People’s Bank of China cutting its 14-day reverse repo rates to revive credit demand and prop up the sputtering economy.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.4 percent to 3,115.60, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slumped 1.0 percent to 18,565.97.

Seoul stocks fell for a fourth straight session to hit over two-month low as investors braced for the Fed to raise rates by 75 basis points for the third straight time.

The Kospi ended down 1.1 percent at 2,355.66, marking the lowest level since July 12. Battery maker LG Energy Solution led losses to close 5.6 percent lower, while state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. rallied 3.2 percent amid speculation the government could raise electricity rates by a big margin next month.

Australian markets gave up early gains to end lower as oil prices reversed course, weighing on energy stocks. The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index slipped 0.3 percent to 6,719.90, while the broader All Ordinaries Index closed 0.4 percent lower at 6,948.60.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P NZX-50 Index dropped 0.4 percent to 11,531.99 despite a positive reading on the country’s services sector.

U.S. stocks fell on Friday to hit two-month lows as a profit warning from global delivery bellwether FedEx heightened fears of a recession.

The Dow shed half a percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gave up 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 declined 0.7 percent.

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