Asian stocks fell before a Federal Reserve policy decision as a selloff in commodities weighed on material shares and a stronger yen hit Japanese exporters.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.4 percent to 126.42 as of 9 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index lost 0.7 percent after the yen gained 0.6 percent against the dollar Tuesday, as global stocks retreated with crude and emerging-market assets. China’s National People’s Congress ends Wednesday, while the Fed is expected to keep interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of its two-day meeting.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.2 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd. dropped 1.8 percent and was the one of the biggest drags on the regional equity gauge after the Bloomberg Commodity Index fell to a one-week low.
New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 0.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.2 percent.
Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.2 percent in most recent trading, while contracts on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 0.5 percent. Shanghai stocks eked out a gain in late trading Tuesday amid speculation state-backed funds intervened to support the market during annual policy meetings.