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April 27, 2016, 5:42 a.m. EDT

Japan shares fall on earnings; Asia cautious ahead of central banks

Australian dollar dragged lower

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By Chao Deng


Bloomberg News
BOJ up soon

Most stock markets in Asia Pacific fell Wednesday as investors braced for an update on monetary policy from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.14%  was off 0.6% while both the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.56%  and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.87% fell by 0.4%. The Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.07%  finished down 0.2% and South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.04%  lost 0.2%.

The Aussie dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561961/realtime/sampled USDAUD -0.0415%  slid on expectations that the country’s central bank will cut interest rates at its meeting on May 3. The local currency was last off 1.7% against the U.S. dollar compared with earlier in the Asian trading day.

For most of the region however, investors awaited a monetary-policy update from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee, due later Wednesday. The central bank isn’t expected to raise interest rates but may hint about whether it will act in June.

The Fed’s announcement will be followed around midday Thursday by the Bank of Japan’s policy decision, though views are split on whether the BOJ will bolster its easing program.

“I suspect the Fed will not want to rock the apple cart,” and will keep a cap on upward momentum on the U.S. dollar, said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at brokerage IG.

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In Australia, shares were off for the third straight session amid heightened uncertainty over interest rates. The market opened modestly higher in the wake of an overnight recovery in oil prices, then built on gains to peak about midday following the release of data showing the first quarter of domestic deflation since the 2008.

That turned to selling as analysts reflected on the increased likelihood the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut interest rates next week, as it faces the risk that inflation will undershoot its 2%-3% target for a sustained period.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia /zigman2/quotes/200638713/delayed AU:CBA +0.30%   led the big banks lower, falling 2.5%, while the National Australia Bank /zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed AU:NAB +0.32%   lost 2.2%. Among other banks, Westpac Banking /zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed AU:WBC +0.14%  shed 2% and the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group /zigman2/quotes/205482049/delayed AU:ANZ +0.58%  fell 1.5%.

Meanwhile, stocks in Tokyo were dragged lower by disappointing earnings results.

Bicycle parts maker Shimano /zigman2/quotes/204012146/delayed JP:7309 +1.79%   dropped 5.1% after the company cut its net-profit projection for 2016, citing a weaker U.S. dollar against the yen.

Electronics maker Canon Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207639533/delayed JP:7751 +1.54%   lost 5.3% after the firm lowered its sales and profit projections for 2016. Canon cited pressures from slower economic growth in China and other emerging markets, as well as a higher yen.

—Robb M. Stewart and Kosaku Narioka contributed to this article.

/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
6,652.00
+9.40 +0.14%
Volume: 35.00
Oct. 16, 2019 8:09a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
2,991.05
-16.84 -0.56%
Volume: 15.54B
Oct. 15, 2019 3:01p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
22,207.21
+408.34 +1.87%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 15, 2019 3:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
26,503.93
-17.92 -0.07%
Volume: 1.57M
Oct. 15, 2019 4:09p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,068.17
+0.77 +0.04%
Volume: 464,533
Oct. 15, 2019 6:03p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561961/realtime/sampled
US : Tullet Prebon
1.4804
-0.0006 -0.0415%
Volume: 0.0000
Oct. 15, 2019 5:58p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200638713/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 79.31
+0.24 +0.30%
Volume: 957,243
Oct. 15, 2019 4:10p
P/E Ratio
17.24
Dividend Yield
5.43%
Market Cap
$139.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
$919,022
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 28.45
+0.09 +0.32%
Volume: 2.21M
Oct. 15, 2019 4:10p
P/E Ratio
14.56
Dividend Yield
6.40%
Market Cap
$81.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.00M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 28.94
+0.04 +0.14%
Volume: 3.27M
Oct. 15, 2019 4:10p
P/E Ratio
14.51
Dividend Yield
6.50%
Market Cap
$100.66 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.09M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205482049/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 27.83
+0.16 +0.58%
Volume: 2.72M
Oct. 15, 2019 4:10p
P/E Ratio
13.28
Dividend Yield
5.75%
Market Cap
$78.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$908,476
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204012146/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 15,900.00
+280.00 +1.79%
Volume: 167,300
Oct. 15, 2019 3:00p
P/E Ratio
28.91
Dividend Yield
0.97%
Market Cap
¥1447.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥29.42M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207639533/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,908.50
+44.00 +1.54%
Volume: 3.84M
Oct. 15, 2019 3:00p
P/E Ratio
17.06
Dividend Yield
5.50%
Market Cap
¥3047.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥19.98M
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