Asian equities started the week lower with escalating violence in Iraq weighing on sentiment.
Rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seized the northwestern city of Tal Afar on Sunday, further solidifying their grip on the country’s northern region. The offense came after they claimed to have executed 1,700 government soldiers over the weekend. Trading was also cautious in the run up to the Federal Reserve’s policy review on Wednesday.
“The week is, quite literally, centered on the FOMC meeting. FOMC fixation is coloured by the sharp contrast between ECB easing and BoE flagging sooner-than-expected hikes. To be sure, the Fed is not expected to recant on normalization, and another $10 billion reduction in asset purchases is almost universally expected,” said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho in a note.