Asia markets fall ahead of closely watched central bank decisions this week

Asia-Pacific markets slipped Monday as investors look ahead to a week of central bank decisions.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision is expected early Thursday in Asia, while Australia’s central bank will release its minutes for its Sept. 5 policy meeting on Tuesday.

On Friday, the Bank of Japan will conclude its monetary policy meeting and traders will be looking for clarity on when the BOJ will start to shift its ultra-easy monetary policy. Elsewhere, the People’s Bank of China is also expected to release its loan prime rate decisions on Friday.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 started the week down 0.74%, while South Korea’s Kospi also fell 0.68% and the Kosdaq slumped 0.72%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slid 1.16%, leading losses in Asia, while mainland Chinese markets were more subdued, with the CSI 300 trading close to the flatline.

On Friday in the U.S., all three major indexes lost ground, with the the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding 0.83%, while the S&P 500 was lower by 1.22% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.56%.