Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Asian markets are lower as investors remain cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting and a new round of talks over Greece’s debt crisis.

The US central bank is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold despite fresh data showing an unexpected fall in factory output.

On Thursday, European finance ministers are likely to urge Greece to make concessions to avoid a default, reports BBC.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.3%, while the broader Topix is down 0.4%.

Over in Greater China, Hong Kong is trading flat while the Shanghai Composite is falling for a second straight day.

One of the worst performers is South Korea’s Kospi, which has shed 1.6% as the country struggles to control an outbreak of MERS.

It reported three more fatalities from the disease on Tuesday, bringing the overall death toll to 19.

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is bucking the trend, however, rising by about 0.6%.

European markets fell on Monday and Wall Street also ended lower as fears mount over the prospect of a Greek exit from the single currency.


Taiwanese smartphone-maker HTC is down by nearly 6% after it ruled out a merger with larger rival Asustek Computers.

The company used to sell one in 10 smartphones globally but has struggled to maintain market share in the face of competition from Apple and Samsung.

HTC recently downgraded its quarterly earnings outlook, forecasting a steep loss.

Malaysian budget airline AirAsia is falling by more than 2% following a report that chief executive Tony Fernandes may hold a bond issuance and sell airplanes to raise funds.

The head of Asia’s biggest low-cost carrier reportedly made the announcement in a letter to investors after a steep fall in shares last week.

Singapore-listed commodity trader Noble is also falling despite holding its third share buyback.

Its stock has lost more than 40% of its value since an anonymous outfit called Iceberg Research first accused it of accounting irregularities in mid-February.

Noble has repeatedly denied the allegations.