Asian Equities Lower Ahead of Fed Meeting

Asian shares began the week on a plaintive note amid losses on Wall Street and worries over China, while investors braced for a Federal Reserve meeting that might take another small step toward lifting U.S. interest rates.  Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.5 percent, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.8 percent.

In China, the CSI300 index .CSI300 of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 1 percent, with sentiment still soured by a poor PMI survey on manufacturing.  Australia’s main index fell 0.2 percent as mining stocks struggled with the slump in global commodity prices.

Both copper and the Thomson Reuters CRB commodities index hit their lowest in six years. Early Monday, copper futures were off another 0.1 percent.  The Fed’s policy-setting Open Market Committee meets on Tuesday and Wednesday and is considered highly unlikely to lift interest rates just yet, though it does still seem set on a move in September.