Asian markets: China Shanghai Composite slips after Bank of Japan keeps monetary policy steady
All Asian stock market indices were trading lower on 15 MarchReuters

Majority of the Asian stock market indices were trading lower , while China's Shanghai Composite Index which was down 1.03% at 2,829.96 on Tuesday, 15 March at 6.05am GMT bounced back to close higher at 2,864.37, up 0.17% at the end of its trading session.

This decline across Asia follows Bank of Japan announcing that it will hold its monetary policy steady. Apart from leaving interest rates unchanged, Japan's central bank is also understood to have painted a bleaker picture of the Japanese economy now than in January.

Some analysts also attributed the bearish trend to investors turning cautious after the recent market rally. Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist at the National Australia Bank said, investors are in a "cautiously optimistic mode" following the extended positive reaction to the news of the stimulus offered by the European Central Bank.

Steven Englander, global head of G10 FX strategy at Citibank, opined that investors were more concerned about what the US Federal Reserve would say post its meeting on 16 March. He said the Fed's decision on interest rates will help gauge how the weak global economic conditions stack up against improving US domestic activity.

Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 15 March at 6.20am GMT:

CountryIndexPriceUp/Down%Change
Hong KongHang Seng Index20,313.29Down0.60%
JapanNikkei 22517,117.07Down0.68%
South KoreaKOSPI1,969.97Down0.12%
IndiaCNX Nifty7,494.65Down0.58%
AustraliaS&P/ASX 2005,111.40Down1.43%

Meanwhile, overnight on Monday (14 March), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,229.13, up 0.09%, while the FTSE 100 closed higher by 0.57% at 6,174.57.

Among commodities, WTI crude oil was trading 0.73% lower at $36.91 (£25.86, €33.24) a barrel, while Brent was down 0.89% at $39.18 a barrel on 15 March at 6.28am GMT. This follows Standard Chartered warning in January 2016 that oil prices could slide to $10 a barrel.