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China Two Sessions, gold price

Delegates attend the closing session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing in 2022.

Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets were set to fall ahead of China’s “Two Sessions” meeting, with investors watching out for its economic plans, including the country’s gross domestic product growth target.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang is expected to deliver the government’s work report on Tuesday, though the traditional press conference with the premier has been scrapped.

Separately, the Caixin services purchasing managers’ index reading for China will be released later in the day.

On the economic data front, investors also await South Korea’s revised GDP numbers for the fourth quarter of 2023, as well as inflation figures from Japan’s capital city of Tokyo.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 retreated for a second straight day after hitting a record high on March 1, falling 0.17% in early trade.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 is also set to fall after smashing the 40,000 barrier on Monday, with the futures contract in Chicago at 40,035 and its counterpart in Osaka at 40,100 against the index’s last close of 40,109,23.

Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 16,368, pointing to a weaker open compared with the HSI’s close of 16,595.97.

On the commodities front, gold futures settled at a record high on Monday as traders bet the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates in the second half of the year. Futures reached $2,126.30, before falling slightly to $2,115.38 per ounce currently.

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes retreated with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite off all-time highs, despite technology stocks tied to the artificial intelligence boom seeing a rally.

The S&P 500 shed 0.12%, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.41%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.25%.

— CNBC’s Sarah Min and Alex Harring contributed to this report

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