Asian markets falter ahead of key central bank meetings

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Asian markets falter ahead of key central bank meetings

Asian stock markets opened lower on Monday, following a tech-led decline on Wall Street last week. Investors are bracing for crucial policy meetings this week at the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan.

On Friday, the S&P 500 wiped out its weekly gain and the Nasdaq fell by 1.8%, with big tech companies such as Nvidia Corp . (NASDAQ: NVDA ) and Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META ). losing more than 3.5%. This was amid a $4 trillion options expiry that amplified market volatility, and a rebalancing of benchmark indexes including the S&P 500, which triggered more share transactions.

In Monday's early currency trading, the U.S. dollar weakened against most of its G-10 peers, after a gauge for the greenback ended last week down 0.4%, snapping an eight-week winning streak. However, Treasury yields rose last week, with the rate-sensitive two-year rate closing above 5%.

Amid these developments, oil prices rose for the third consecutive day with Brent oil trading around $94 per barrel. The ongoing strike by union workers at Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX ).’s liquefied natural gas facilities in Western Australia has prolonged uncertainty over global supply of the fuel.

Meanwhile, distressed Chinese developer Country Garden Holdings Co. faces more challenges this week, including a vote on extending payment of a local bond by three years.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expect that a resilient U.S. economy will prompt the Fed to pencil in one more interest-rate hike this year and maintain peak levels into next year longer than previously expected. This comes after U.S. inflation expectations fell to a two-year low and factory activity in New York state unexpectedly expanded due to new orders.

The decisions from central banks such as the U.S. Federal Reserve and Japan's central bank often lead to market moves and both are set to meet this week to discuss policies. The tech sector on Wall Street, which has been volatile in recent times, will also be under scrutiny as it continues to influence global markets.

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