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Asia markets poised for fall ahead of Bank of Japan rate decision

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Kazuo Ueda, governor of the Bank of Japan (BOJ).

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Asia-Pacific markets fell ahead of the Bank of Japan’s rate decision, which investors will be closely watching to determine if the central bank will make any change to its ultra-easy monetary policy

A poll of Reuters economists showed that economists all expect the BOJ to hold its benchmark policy rate at -0.1%.

BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda has maintained that an ultra-easy monetary policy is needed until Japan sees a sustained inflation at 2%. Japan’s headline inflation figures have remained above this target since April 2022, with the latest reading coming in at 3.2% for August.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.95% ahead of the BOJ decision, while the Topix slid 0.69%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 shed 1.08%, leading losses in Asia. South Korea’s Kospi saw a smaller loss, dropping 0.55%, while the Kosdaq slipped 0.59%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.24%, while mainland Chinese markets were also in negative territory, with the CSI 300 inching down 0.11%.

On Thursday in the U.S., all three major indexes notched a third straight day of losses as Treasury yields popped to multiyear highs and investors grew worried that lawmakers would be unable to prevent a shutdown.

The Nasdaq Composite led losses and retreated 1.82%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.08%. The S&P 500 slid 1.64%.

— CNBC’s Pia Singh and Alex Harring contributed to this report.

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