Asian stocks largely moved lower on Thursday, taking their cue from a lackluster trading session on Wall Street, with Japanese indices hovering near three-week lows.
The Nikkei 225 closed down 1.26% at 16,405.01, having earlier hit a three-week low, while the Topix closed down 1.04% at 1,301.11.
Worries about Bank of Japan action at its policy meeting next week are dogging equities, with banking sector investors concerned that the central bank will push the deposit rate further into negative territory. The Bank of Japan, like the Fed, makes its rate call next Wednesday, and domestic angst is feeding into global worries about a U.S. rate rise. On Wall Street yesterday both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 closed down, with Nasdaq bucking the trend to rise 0.36%.
In Tokyo convenience store operator Lawson closed up 7% on news that trading company Mitsubishi Corp. is planning to raise its stake to more than 50%. Mitsubishi closed down 0.2%.
The dollar was down 0.06% against the yen at ¥102.3700.
In Hong Kong the Hang Seng rose 0.62% to 23,335.08.
On mainland China the CSI 300 fell 0.66% to 3,238.73.
U.S. stock futures were little changed, with the Dow Jones mini up 0.02% and the S&P 500 mini down 0.01%.
In Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.23% at 5,239.86 after news Australia's unemployment rate unexpectedly slipped to 5.6% from 5.7% in August, even though the number of employed dropped by 3,900, instead of rising by around 15,000, as expected.
West Texas intermediate was recently down 0.07% at $43.55 a barrel.