(From Reuters)

Asian stocks retreated on Tuesday as investors braced for central bank policy meetings in the United States and Japan this week.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 0.3 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 slipped 1.1 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index .HSI tumbled 0.5 percent. But Chinese shares were flat, with the CSI 300 .CSI300 little changed and the Shanghai Composite .SSEC slipping 0.1 percent.

Investors are cautious about buying riskier assets ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting starting later on Tuesday.

A surprise drop in new U.S. home sales data for March published on Monday supported a view of anemic U.S. economic growth, which may keep the Fed from raising interest rates.

In fact, markets sees no chance of a rate increase at this week’s meeting and are pricing in just about a one in five chance of a move at the next meeting on June 14-15.

Yet, Fed officials have repeatedly said a hike in June is on the cards. Read more

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