Asian markets were mixed yesterday, as weak data from China and the US fuelling hopes for new stimulus measures were overshadowed by concerns over growth in the world’s two biggest economies.
The euro, which surged on Friday after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a bond-buying plan to help under-pressure nations, eased slightly in early Asian exchanges.
Tokyo ended flat, dipping 2.28 points to 8,869.37, with a slightly stronger yen compounding figures showing the Japanese economy grew at a slower pace than initially thought.
Seoul was 0.25% down, or 4.88 points, at 1,924.70 while Sydney climbed 0.18%, or 8.0 points, to 4,333.8. Hong Kong finished 0.13% higher, adding 25.01 points to 19,827.17 while Shanghai gained 0.34%, or 7.13 points, to 2,134.89.
Regional markets saw big gains on Friday following the ECB announcement to buy sovereign bonds in a bid to lower borrowing costs for countries such as Spain and Italy, which are struggling under huge debts.
However, later on Friday, the US Labor Department said just 96,000 jobs were added last month, convincing many that the Fed would act in its policy meeting this week to introduce another round of bond purchases, or quantitative easing.
In Asian trade, gold was at $1,732.83 at 1040 GMT compared with $1,694.85 on Friday.
In other markets, Singapore closed 0.10%, or 2.98 points, lower at 3,008.72, Taipei ended 0.78%, or 57.83 points, higher at 7,482.74, while Manila was 0.2% lower, slipping 10.51 points to 5,190.81.
Wellington rose 0.13%, or 4.72 points, to 3,726.90, Jakarta climbed 0.41%, or 16.98 points, to 4,160.66, Bangkok rose 0.39%, or 4.83 points, to 1,250.93, but Kuala Lumpur fell 0.22%, or 3.51 points, to 1,621.04.