Asian shares down ahead of Bank of Japan meeting

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Asian stock markets inched lower on Monday, retreating from a 17-month high, as yen touched a new low ahead of the outcome of the Bank of Japan policy meeting this week amid expectations for bold monetary easing measures.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.2% to 132 as of 10:49 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.9% ahead of a Bank of Japan policy meeting starting today. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pressuring the BOJ to double its 1% inflation goal and accelerate cash infusions to end deflation.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index oscillated between gains and losses. South Korea’s Kospi Index sank 0.7% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index erased an early retreat and China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4%.

Japan’s exporters fell after the yen rebounded. Sumitomo Chemical Co and Mitsui Chemicals Inc. dropped in Tokyo after Bank of America Corp. cut their ratings.

Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd. plunged 6.1% in Hong Kong after confirming a report of its closure of Gome- branded stores in the city.

Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Co and Mitsui Chemicals Inc. dropped in Tokyo after Bank of America Corp. cut their ratings.

China Vanke Co., the country’s biggest publicly traded property developer by market value, added 10% in Shenzhen after saying it plans to move trading of its foreign-currency denominated shares to Hong Kong.