Asia stocks mixed with earnings, Fed in focus; Nikkei ends down 0.5%

Shutterstock photo - " Asian stock markets were mixed on Tuesday, as market players looked ahead to the start of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the day.

During late Asian trade, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.3%, Australia's ASX/200 Index ended 0.48% lower, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed down 0.49%.

The Fed bank is scheduled to start its two-day policy-meeting later Tuesday, with market analysts expecting the central bank to keep its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program on track.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei inched lower as the yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar, weighing on sentiment.

USD/JPY fell to hit a session low of 97.45, moving off the previous session's high of 97.78. A stronger yen reduces the value of overseas income at Japanese companies when repatriated, dampening the outlook for export earnings.

In earnings news, heavy-machinery maker Komatsu saw shares tumble 8.1% after the firm cut its full-year earnings forecast, due to weaker demand for mining equipment.

Hitachi Construction Machinery dropped 5.7% after reporting a 33% decline in April-September net profit.

On the upside, KDDI saw shares climb 2.35% after the telecommunications company reported a record-high operating profit for the first half of the fiscal year.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the ASX/200 Index eased off the previous session's five-year high, as investors remained cautious ahead of the Fed's policy meeting.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group rose 1.2% after the lender posted a 13% increase in second-half cash profit.

Elsewhere, in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng inched higher after the People's Bank of China injected funds to the financial system for the first time in two weeks, amid ongoing concerns over tightening liquidity conditions in the Chinese banking sector.

China Construction Bank shares edged up 1.9%, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China added 2.7%, while China Minsheng Bank climbed 2.3%.

Looking ahead, European stock market futures pointed to a mixed open.

The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a loss of 0.2% at the open, France's CAC 40 futures dipped 0.05%, London's FTSE 100 futures indicated a rise of 0.05%, while Germany's DAX futures pointed to a decline of 0.1% at the open. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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