jamuna share market desk: Asian stock markets drifted in slow trading on Tuesday as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve's meeting and a batch of economic and political events later this week.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.1 percent to 19,619.14 but South Korea's Kospi rose 0.6 percent to 2,129.64. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.1 percent to 23,818.77. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1 percent to 3,238.93. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent lower to 5,754.60. Stocks in Taiwan were higher and in Southeast Asia, markets were mixed.
The Bank of England, Bank of Japan and others around the world are also holding meetings this week. Many economists expect the Bank of England to hold steady. The U.K. government meanwhile could formally begin the process of exiting the European Union. Margaret Yang, a market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said the so-called Brexit process could begin as early as the last week of March. The Netherlands has its own election this week, where politicians have also railed against the European Union and immigrants.
U.S. stock markets were little changed on Monday as investors took a wait-and-see mode. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was steady at 2,373.47 and the Dow Jones industrial average ticked 0.1 percent lower, to 20,881.48. The Nasdaq rose 0.2 percent to 5,875.78.