Asia markets fell on Tuesday, with Japanese shares dropping sharply, tracking declines on Wall Street overnight on jitters over a new immigration measure taken by the Trump administration.
The yen strengthened against the dollar after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept its monetary policy steady as expected on Tuesday. The Japanese currency rose against the greenback from levels near 113.68 before the BOJ's decision to around 113.48 at 2:51 p.m. HK/SIN, and stronger than levels near 115.20 touched in the previous week.
The BOJ kept its policy stance unchanged, but raised its gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to 1.4 percent for the current fiscal year ending March 31, from a previous prediction of 1.0 percent growth made in October. The BOJ said in its policy statement it expected inflation to rise to around its target of 2 percent by fiscal 2018.
The yen's strength on Tuesday sent stocks lower across the board, with export stocks selling off.
Nintendo shares finished down 1.89 percent as investors looked ahead to the Japanese gaming giant's nine-month earnings results due after the Tokyo market close.
Elsewhere, government data released Tuesday morning showed Japanese household spending fell 0.3 percent in December from a year earlier, less than the median estimate of a 0.6 percent decline, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted jobless rate was flat at 3.1 percent in December, in line with a Reuters estimate, while industrial output rose 0.5 percent in December from a month earlier.
In company news, shares of NEC dropped 17.41 percent after the Japanese communications equipment maker slashed its profit outlook for the year ending March 31 to 30 billion yen ($264 million) from an earlier prediction of 100 billion yen, reported Reuters.