Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday, with Japanese banks posting declines after a newspaper reported that the Bank of Japan may push rates deeper into negative territory next week.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 3.2%, Nomura lost 0.9% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial was down 1% after the Nikkei predicted the rate cut, noting that the Bank of Japan plans to make negative interest rates the main feature of future policy easing since it is close to maxing out on its asset buying program. The central bank began the policy in February, charging banks 0.1% for holding their reserves to encourage institutions to lend instead. Both the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan make rate calls on Sept. 21.
In Tokyo the Nikkei 225 closed down 0.69% at 16,614.24. The Topix fell 0.62% to 1,314.74.
In Hong Kong the Hang Seng was recently up 0.18% at 23,258.41.
But oil prices were up, with West Texas intermediate up 0.58% at $45.16.
On mainland China the CSI 300 composite was down 0.65% at 3,239.23.
U.S. futures edged higher with S&P 500 mini futures up 0.18% and Dow Jones mini futures up 0.16%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.38% at 5,227.70.
Banks, including Westpac Banking (WBK) edged higher but miner Santos fell 5.7%, extending six days of losses.