Asian stocks mostly lower amid mixed earnings; India outperforms after RBI
Asian equity markets finished mostly lower on Tuesday following a mixed batch of earnings reports and ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting.
The Shanghai Composite, Australia's S&P ASX 200 and Japan's Nikkei posted marginal losses. Among gainers, South Korea's Kospi ended above the flat line while Indian shares rallied 1 percent following the Reserve Bank of India's rate-hike decision.
(Read more: Still easiest to do business in Singapore, Hong Kong)
Fed in focus
The Fed's two-day policy meeting kicks off later on Tuesday. Market players will be looking for clues as to when the central bank would start tapering its bond-buying program.
"A patch of weaker U.S. data poses something of an equity navigational challenge as Fed 'taper' expectations creep farther into the future, extending the cheaper-U.S.-dollar lifeline for structurally weaker economies – most particularly among the [emerging markets]," said Michael Kurtz, global head of equity strategy at Nomura in a research note.
(Read more: Data will be the key as Fed meeting starts)
India up 1%
India's benchmark index entered positive territory after the Reserve Bank of India raised its policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent, in line with market expectations. The rupee trimmed its fall on the news, rising to 61.5 per dollar.
"Monetary and fiscal policy cannot both be accommodative at the same time and have inflation where it is. Hence, the RBI has taken on some of the burden. It's telling you that though growth is so weak, they are still tightening essentially because they see fiscal slippage as a potential risk," said Radhika Rao, economist at DBS.
Shanghai closes down 0.2%
China's benchmark index pared losses after falling as much as 1.7 percent to an eight-week low in volatile trade. Investors were cautious before the much-anticipated plenum meeting of the Communist Party in November, where President Xi Jinping is expected to announce key reforms.
Earlier in the session, news that the People's Bank of China injected $2.1 billion into money markets in its Tuesday open-market operation saw the index jump 1.2 percent. Financials managed to hold onto strong gains with Industrial Bank 4.8 percent higher and Minsheng Bank up 3 percent.
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Railway stocks were some of the biggest laggards. Subway equipment manufacturer CSR Corp and China CNR fell over 3 percent each.
Nikkei sheds 0.5%
Earnings pessimism overshadowed a flurry of strong economic data for Japanese investors, raising doubts over the health of Japan Inc.
Construction equipment maker Komatsu slumped 8 percent after cutting its full-year operating profit on Monday while Hitachi Construction Machinery lost 5.7 percent after reporting a 33 percent drop in April-September net profit.
But telecommunications firm KDDI bucked the tend to rise over 2 percent after posting a 10.4 percent rise in quarterly profit.
Apple-related shares were lower after the tech giant reported a disappointing margin outlook after the U.S. market close. Foster Electric skidded 2 percent while Murata Manufacturing lost 1.6 percent.
(Read more: Japan success shows Apple badly needs China Mobile)
Sydney 0.5% lower
Australia's share market took a breather after rallying to a five-year high in the previous session as investors focused on the latest earnings reports.
Australia and New Zealand Banking ended up 1.2 percent after kicking off bank reporting season by posting a fourth straight year of record annual profits.
Mining shares were dealt a blow after China's iron-ore futures dropped for a sixth straight session. Fortescue Metals fell nearly 2 percent while Whitehaven Coal tanked over 5 percent as Brent crude eased towards $98 a barrel.
(Read more: What can save Australia as mining boom fizzles?)
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar fell 0.6 percent to US$0.9510 against the greenback after Reserve Bank of Australia chief Glenn Stevens said that the currency remains too high and warned that it would be "materially lower" in the future.
Kospi up 0.2%
Seoul's benchmark index bounced between gains and losses after data showed that the nation's current account surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted $4.97 billion in September, from August's $7.7 billion surplus.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC