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Nikkei slips, thanks to strong yen on Fed view, Fast Retailing's fall

Nikkei slips, thanks to strong yen on Fed view, Fast Retailing's fall

Asian markets mostly rose Monday following last week's forecast-busting U.S. jobs report but the dollar struggled against most other currencies, with this week's expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike already accounted for.

The Nikkei rose 0.1 percent to 19,590.14 points, after trading in negative territory earlier in the session.

The TOPIX index of all First Section issues ended up 1.38 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,572.69, after shedding 3.59 points the previous day. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1 percent to 3,238.93.

U.S. INTEREST RATES: The Fed is scheduled to hold its rate-setting meeting from Tuesday to Wednesday. Analysts said a rate hike, only the Fed's third in a decade, is already priced into financial markets and investors will be looking to see what Fed chief Janet Yellen will be saying about the pace of future increases. Britain's FTSE 100 inched up almost 0.1 percent to 7,418.84.

BUSY WEEK: The Bank of England, Bank of Japan and other central banks are also holding meetings this week.

Most stock markets in Asia started the week on a high - tracking all three main Wall Street indexes - after the Labor Department said the economy created 235,000 new jobs in February, much more than estimated.

More news: Nordstrom creates 'Mom Jeans' of the future

The ECB will decide later whether to raise interest rates before or after ending its bond purchase program, policymaker Ewald Nowotny told a newspaper. 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 U.K. government meanwhile could formally begin the process of exiting the European Union.

Gold XAU= rose 0.1 percent to $1199.71 before the Fed decision. The Netherlands has its own election this week, where politicians have also railed against the European Union and immigrants.

Shares in Asia fell early on Wednesday with a widely expected hike in US interest rates later in the day weighing on sentiment.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 11 cents to $48.86 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.0771 from $1.0726 in Asia, while the dollar was edged up to 113.42 yen from 113.40 yen. Brent crude, which is used to price global oils, slipped 7 cents to $51.67 a barrel.

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