Nikkei falls as Bank of Japan meets

Nikkei stock board Image copyright AFP

Shares in Japan have fallen with investors remaining cautious as the country's central bank meets to discuss monetary policy.

The Bank of Japan's news conference on Friday will be watched closely any news of further stimulus measures.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 1.13% at 16,476.84.

Shares in export-related companies fell as the yen strengthened against the dollar. A stronger yen makes Japanese goods more expensive overseas.

Overnight, the US central bank decided to keep rates on hold, at between 0.25% and 0.5%. The Federal Reserve said "near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished", however the dollar weakened after the bank gave now clear indication it was thinking of raising rates at its next meeting in September.

In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 share index closed up 0.31% at 5,556.60.

Shares of Macquarie Group closed up 1.5% after the country's top investment bank confirmed it would meet its full-year earnings guidance.

Image copyright AFP

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index ended flat at 2,994.32 at the open. Investors have turned cautious following reports in local media that Chinese regulators are planning a clampdown on wealth management products, to curb risks to China's banking system.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index finished the day 44.65 points lower at 22,174.34.

In South Korea, the Kospi closed down 0.2% at 2,021.10.

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