TOKYO: Tokyo stocks dropped Monday as investors sat on their hands ahead of central bank meetings in Japan and the United States, and as the Middle East crisis weighed on the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.95 percent, or 294.73 points, to 30,696.96, while the broader Topix index lost 1.04 percent, or 23.41 points, at 2,231.24.

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) will conclude a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, while the US Federal Reserve will make a rate decision on Wednesday.

Market consensus is that “both banks won’t raise interest rates, but depending on messages from BoJ Governor (Kazuo) Ueda and Fed Chair (Jerome) Powell, speculation of higher rates could grow stronger”, said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities.

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