Asia Stocks Mixed as U.S. Dollar Seeks Direction

Asian indexes closed mostly lower on Tuesday as markets awaited the upcoming U.S. Federal Market Open Committee (FOMC) meeting and kept an eye on the American dollar amid greater uncertainty over the White House's ability to pass key policy proposals.

The Nikkei 225 dropped 20.47 points, or 0.1%, to 19,955.20, as the yen gained against the greenback later in the session.

Against the yen, the U.S. dollar retraced earlier gains, last fetching 110.93 yen compared to levels around the 111.1 handle seen earlier in the week.

The Hang Seng Index nicked higher 5.22 points to 26,852.05

In Japan, shares of most automakers closed higher as corporate reporting season kicked off. Toyota was up 0.5%, Honda shares rose 0.8% and Mazda Motor gained 0.2%

South Korean semiconductor manufacturer SK Hynix reported record operating profits of 3.1 trillion won ($2.78 billion U.S.) in the second quarter due to strong memory chip demand — a rise of 574% compared to one year ago. The figure beat a Thomson Reuters StarMine estimate of three trillion won.

SK Hynix shares closed down 3.6% after finishing at a record high in the previous session.

Other market movers included Hong Kong-listed property companies linked to a high profile deal involving Dalian Wanda. Property developer Sunac China Holdings announced it agreed to a $516.4-million share sale on Tuesday.

As part of the deal, Sunac said 220 million shares would be issued to undisclosed investors, the news agency said. Sunac is buying a 91% share in several Wanda tourism projects for 43.8 billion yuan, Wanda announced last week.

Sunac shares were down 6.9%, Guangzhou R&F declined 0.5% and Wanda Hotel Development rose 6.9%. Most major Hong Kong property stocks trended lower.

Australia markets gained ground, driven by broad-based gains across most sectors except the telecommunications services and energy sub-indexes. The industrials and health care sub-indexes closed higher by 1% and 1.6% respectively.

Market sentiment was likely to remain subdued as investors awaited risk events, such as the outcome of the FOMC meeting and release of U.S. second-quarter Gross Domestic Product, due later in the week. Particularly of note would be the Federal Reserve's outlook on inflation, he said, adding that the central bank was likely to sound dovish.

In other markets

The CSI 300 slid 23.91 points, or 0.6%, to 3,727.83

In Taiwan, the Taiex index inched up 1.87 points to 10,463.15

In Korea, the Kospi index retreated 11.63 points, or 0.5%, to 2,439.90

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained 17.03 points, or 0.5%, to 3,327.83

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 heightened 30.77 points, or 0.4%, to 7,713.06

In Australia, the ASX 200 recovered 38.53 points, or 0.7%, to 5,726.60