Most of the Asian equity benchmarks are trading lower in the early deals on Tuesday as investors look to the Federal Reserve chair's two-day congressional testimony starting Tuesday for her comments on banking regulations and potential hints of the Fed's rate hike trajectory. Meanwhile, Japanese stocks dropped with Toshiba Corp's diving after it delayed its earnings release, including details of a multibillion dollar charge related to cost overruns at its US nuclear arm. Among the other Asian markets, Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia are all lower. Bucking the trend, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are higher.
Nikkei 225 plunged by 125.83 points or 0.65% to 19,333.32, Jakarta Composite slipped 10.96 points or 0.20% to 5,398.60, KOSPI Index contracted 7.04 points or 0.34% to 2,071.61, Straits Times declined 33.17 points or 1.07% to 3,078.46, Shanghai Composite dropped 4.41 points or 0.14% to 3,212.43, and FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was down by 3.08 points or 0.18% to 1,707.16.
On the flip side, Taiwan Weighted added 6.63 points or 0.07% to 9,716.95, and Hang Seng was up by 1.19 points or 0.01% to 23,712.17.