Asian stock markets were little changed Monday as traders weighed the consequences of an anticipated phasing out of the U.S. central bank's unprecedented stimulus program, AP reported.
The Federal Reserve has been aggressively buying government bonds to push down interest rates and return employment to normal levels after millions lost jobs in the recession that followed the 2008 financial crisis.
The Fed says the program has helped stimulate the economy by making it easier to buy homes and invest in businesses. The Fed has also said the program is not indefinite and will be phased out when the economy improves.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.4 percent to 13,706.36. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 1,914.92. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.2 percent to 22,474.39. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1 percent to 5,107.90.
Trading was suspended in the Philippines due to severe flooding. Mainland Chinese shares were mixed. Taiwan and Indonesia fell.
Among individual stocks, Australian steel maker BlueScope Steel plunged nearly 16 percent after reporting a net loss of $84 million Australian dollars for the 2012-13 financial year. Internet-related companies in Hong Kong posted gains. NetDragon rose 5.2 percent, while Tencent Holdings advanced 1.5 percent.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3323 from $1.3319 late Friday. The dollar rose to 97.59 yen from 97.53 yen.