Asian shares weaker with Fed rate views weighing

U.S. stock indexes stuck close to their record levels in early trading Monday ahead of a busy week full of events that

Germany's DAX lost 0.1 percent to 11,973.58.

The greenback was also down against most high-yielding units with South Korea's won 1.2 percent higher and the Australian dollar 0.5 percent up. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.5 percent to 24,146.81 and Seoul's Kospi rose 0.6 percent to 2,146.33.

G-20 POWWOW: Finance leaders from the G-20 industrial and emerging economies are meeting Friday-Saturday in the southern German resort town of Baden-Baden. The first G-20 finance meeting since tough-talking Donald Trump was elected president, it's likely to focus on concerns over protectionism and currencies. Dow futures fell 0.1 percent while S&P futures shed 0.2 percent.

Exporters were dented on a stronger yen, with Toyota Motor Corp falling 0.7 percent, Honda Motor Co dropping 1.0 percent and Panasonic Corp shedding 0.5 percent. The Nasdaq composite was flat at 5,900.76. Most investors expect the Fed to raise rates for only the third time since they went to almost zero during the financial crisis in 2008. "Markets are already fully priced for a Fed rate hike on Wednesday", Janu Chan, a senior economist at St George Bank in Sydney, said.

U.S. INTEREST RATES: The Fed is scheduled to hold a policy meeting from Tuesday to Wednesday.




BUSY WEEK: The Bank of England, Bank of Japan and others around the world are also holding meetings this week.

THE QUOTE: "Monetary tightening is probably an inevitable trend in the U.S., China, Europe and even Japan".

"The progressive improvement in both labour market conditions and lift in inflation rates in the United States certainly validates the Fed's move this week", said Jingyi Pan, market analyst at IG in Singapore. "So in the future, money will become more and more expensive to borrow".

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 7 cents to $48.47 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It had slipped 11 cents to settle at $48.75 per barrel Thursday, the eighth drop in the last nine days. Brent crude, which is used to price worldwide oils, gained 5 cents to $51.40 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 115.09 yen from 114.884 yen while the euro slipped to $1.0642 from $1.0653.

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