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Asia markets set for mixed open as central banks take center stage this week

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Asia markets set for mixed open as central banks take center stage this week

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) headquarters is seen beyond the cherry blossoms in Tokyo on March 20, 2023.

Kazuhiro Nogi | Afp | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets were set for a mixed open Monday as investors brace for a week of central bank meetings.

The U.S. Federal Reserve will start its Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Tuesday. A Reuters poll of economists is expecting the Fed to hold its benchmark interest rates steady at 5.25% to 5.5%.

In Asia, the Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to keep its cash rate steady at 4.35% when it concludes its meeting on Tuesday.

In contrast, a Reuters poll expects the Bank of Japan to exit its negative interest rate policy and lift its benchmark rate to 0% from -0.1% when it makes its announcement on Tuesday.

In Europe, the Bank of England is expected to keep rates unchanged at 5.25%.

Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.21% in early trade.

In contrast, Japan’s Nikkei 225 is set to rise, with the futures contract in Chicago at 38,870 and their counterpart in Osaka at 38,660 against the index’s last close of 38,707.64.

Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 16,752, pointing to a stronger open compared to the HSI’s close of 16,720.89.

China is set to release a slew of economic data on Monday, including its February retail sales, industrial output, and urban unemployment numbers.

On Friday in the U.S., all three indexes fell on Friday as inflation concerns remain front and center ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.

The S&P 500 lost 0.65%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.49%, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.96%.

— CNBC’s Brian Evans and Alex Harring contributed to this report

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