Asian markets mixed after ECB decision

GMT 08:31 2014 Friday ,05 December

Arab Today, arab today Asian markets mixed after ECB decision

Asian markets
Hong Kong - AFP

Asian markets were mixed Friday as profit-takers moved in after this week's rally and the European Central Bank held off fresh stimulus measures.
The dollar hovered near 120 yen after breaking the key psychological level for the first time in seven years on Thursday, while the euro held up after surging on news the European Central Bank held fast on further monetary easing.
In equity markets, Tokyo eased 0.34 percent, Sydney lost 0.42 percent and Seoul fell 0.15 percent.
But Shanghai jumped 1.19 percent while Hong Kong rose 0.52 percent, adding to the previous day's gains fuelled by hopes Beijing will introduce fresh economy-boosting policies after last month's interest rate cut.
Investors took a breather at the end of a positive week for regional shares, driven by a slew of strong US economic data and several new record highs on Wall Street.
Share markets were left disappointed by the ECB's refusal to embark on any new stimulus at its policy meeting Thursday, despite cutting its already weak growth and inflation forecasts for the eurozone.
But its president, Mario Draghi, said it had stepped up preparations for extra measures -- similar to those already taken in Britain, Japan and the United States -- and would continue to assess the impact of its existing easing efforts on the bloc's moribund economy.
"Should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation, the governing council remains unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional instruments," he said.
"This would imply altering early next year the size, pace and composition of our measures."
However, Draghi stressed that "early next year" did not necessarily mean the bank's next meeting in January.
- Euro supported by ECB -
While sending stocks lower, the news provided support to the euro, which jumped to $1.2380 and 148.27 yen in New York Thursday, from $1.2300 and 147.62 yen earlier in the day in Tokyo.
On Friday, the European single currency fetched $1.2385 and 148.41 yen.
In other foreign exchange trades, the dollar nudged back to the 120 yen mark after passing briefly it in London Thursday for the first time since July 2007.
The greenback was at 119.81 yen in early Asian trade Friday, up from its 119.77 yen level late in New York.
The dollar has enjoyed strong support against the Japanese currency thanks to a raft of data showing the US economy is on a recovery track, as well as the Bank of Japan's decision to ramp up its stimulus programme.
On Wall Street the Dow eased 0.07 percent, the S&P 500 dipped 0.12 percent and the Nasdaq declined 0.11 percent.
Crude prices remained stuck around five-year lows after the OPEC oil cartel's decision to maintain output levels despite a global glut.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for January delivery was down 12 cents at $66.69 a barrel in early morning Asian trade, and Brent crude for January eased 20 cents to $69.44.
Gold was at $1,203.69 an ounce, compared with $1,203.88 late Thursday.

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