Asia-Pacific Mixed Monday

Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed on Monday as investors looked ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting this week.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 regained 66.11 points, or 0.2%, to 27,588.57.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 113.69 per dollar, strengthening from levels above 114.8 in the previous week.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong withered 309.09 points, or 1.2%, to 24,686.46.

In Australia, the energy sub-index faded 0.5%, materials were down 1.2%, and financials lost 0.6%, as major banks, miners and oil stocks sold off. Commonwealth Bank shares, however, ticked higher 0.07%.

The Australian dollar dropped 0.26% to $0.7164.

CHINA

In China, the CSI 300 recovered 7.43 points, or 0.2%, to 4,786.14.

The onshore Chinese yuan last traded at 6.3316 per dollar after the People’s Bank of China lifted the yuan midpoint fix to the strongest level since May 2018.

The People's Bank of China set the midpoint at 6.3411 yuan per dollar, 0.13% stronger than the previous fix of 6.3492, Reuters reported. The official guidance was largely in line with the market’s expectation of 6.3409, according to the news agency.

China allows the yuan to trade within a narrow band of 2% above or below the day’s midpoint rate. If it deviates too far, the Chinese central bank typically steps in to buy or sell the yuan, putting a lid on its daily volatility. This exchange rate is known as the onshore yuan, or CNY.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index docked 42.29 points, or 1.5%, to 2,792.

In Taiwan, the Taiex restocked 89.74 points, or 0.5%, to 17,989.04

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index declined 11.51 points, or 0.4%, to 3,283.35.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 156.94 points, or 1.3%, to 12,191.06.

In Australia, the ASX 200 weakened 36.27 points, or 0.5%, at 7,139.55.