Asian stocks lower ahead of US central bank meeting

<p>Investors are looking for signs of an interest rate hike.</p>

Asian shares were down again today (March 4th) as investors await a US central bank meeting and the release of the US non-farm 
payrolls report for February. Markets expect the job figures will provide some indication as to when the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.

"Whether this selling is short-term profit-taking or can lead to a solid correction depends on how the market perceives the US jobs data," Nissay Asset Management equity strategist Isao Kubo told Reuters.

 "If wages are better than expected and trigger worry about a sooner (rather) than later rate hike, there may be some more selling in stocks," he added.

The Nikkei 225 was 0.6 per cent down to 18,703.60 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost one per cent to 24,465.38. Seoul's Kospi fell 0.2 per cent to 1,998.29, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.5 per cent to 3,279.53.

India's Sensex ended 0.8 per cent up to 29,823.02 after the central bank surprised markets by cutting interest rates.

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.