wall street
A trader reacts as he watches screens on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Feb 5, 2018.Reuters

Asian shares got off to a weak start on Monday as investors braced for caution ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the week.

The Federal Reserve Market Committee's first meeting with new head Jerome Powell at the helm takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Strengthening labor market and a steady increase in price pressures could pave the way for the central bank to raise interest rates in the upcoming meeting.

The CME FedWatch tool currently places the likelihood of a 25 basis point hike at 91.6 percent, one fully worked in for the markets.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.1 percent, while Australia's main index edged up 0.1 percent in the morning trading.

Major indices on the Wall Street ended lower for the week on Friday. The Dow lost 1.57 percent and the S&P 1.04 percent.

Back home, the SGX Nifty, an early indicator of the Nifty 50's trend in India, signals a weak start for the domestic markets after the benchmark Sensex plunged 509 points or 1.51 percent to close at 33,176 on Friday.

The partially convertible rupee ended at 64.94 on Friday, down 0.01 percent from its previous close of 64.93.

So far this year, the rupee weakened 1.7 percent, while foreign investors have bought $1.4 billion in equity and $21 million in debt market.

Sandhar Technologies IPO: The issue of Sandhar Technologies, a supplier to Hero MotoCorp for sheet metal components, opens on Monday and closes on Wednesday. The price band for the issue is Rs 327 to Rs 332 per share.

Crude check: Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world's oil, dropped 0.54 percent at $65.85 per barrel while the West Texas Intermediate crude shed 0.58 percent at $61.98 a barrel, on Monday morning.