Asia markets fall ahead of Australian central bank minutes

Asia-Pacific markets fell across the board as traders look to minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia for its policy meeting on Sept. 5.

The minutes will detail how the RBA came to hold its benchmark policy rate at 4.1%, the third straight month that it has done so.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slid 0.23% in early trade, while both South Korea’s Kospi and Kosdaq were down 0.22% and 0.53% respectively.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slumped 0.94% upon its return from a public holiday, while the Topix saw a smaller loss of 0.26%.

In contrast, futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 17,965, pointing to a positive open compared with the HSI’s last close of 17,930.55.

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes were little changed as traders awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate decision due Thursday morning in Asia.

Traders are assigning a 99% chance that the central bank stays put when it releases its rate decision, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

The S&P 500 inched up 0.07%, while the Nasdaq Composite eked out a 0.01% gain. The 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.02%