European stocks steadied on Wednesday despite gains across Asia as Japan launched extra economic stimulus following similar moves from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.08 percent to 5,872.78 points in late morning deals, while Frankfurt’s DAX 30 slipped 0.03 percent to 7,345.57 points and in Paris the CAC 40 shed 0.07 percent to 3,510.09.
In foreign exchange deals, the euro weakened to $1.3031 from $1.3044 in New York late on Tuesday.
Asian equities meanwhile fizzed higher after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) said it would boost a asset-buying scheme to kickstart the economy.
The BoJ announced after a two-day policy meeting it would boost an asset-purchasing fund by 10 trillion yen ($128 billion) to 80 trillion yen while also keeping interest rates between zero and 0.1 percent.
“The Bank of Japan has decided to bring its own punchbowl to the global stimulus party, throwing ten trillion yen at the Japanese economy,” said analyst Chris Beauchamp at trading group IG Index.
“In part, this is designed to help weaken the yen, in order to defuse the pleas of Japanese exporters, but the sight of yet another central bank acting positively should help global markets.
“For now, however, the move has had little impact, with the FTSE fighting hard to stay in positive territory.
“Perhaps we are seeing investors suffering from a bout of central bank fatigue, or perhaps it is a dawning realisation that, even with policymakers dispensing cash left, right and centre, there is still a slowing global economy to deal with,” Beauchamp added.
Tokyo’s stock market rose to the highest level for more than four months following the BoJ announcement, gaining 1.19 percent to 9,232.21 points — which was the highest closing level since May 2.
Sydney shares gained 0.54 percent to also finish at their highest level since May. Elsewhere, Hong Kong rallied 1.16 percent and Shanghai rose 0.40 percent in value.
The BoJ’s move will see the bank provide more yen liquidity to markets as it purchases government and corporate bonds, and commercial paper.
Following the news, the dollar rose to a three-week high at 79.22 yen. In European deals it stood at 79.10 yen, up from 78.80 yen late on Tuesday.
European stock market dealers meanwhile continued to bank profits after last week’s huge gains sparked by the Fed’s stimulus plan.
The US central bank said on Thursday that it would start a third round of bond-buying, known as quantitative easing (QE3), in a bid to jumpstart the world’s biggest economy.
The announcement, which followed a European Central Bank plan to buy the debt of under-pressure eurozone nations, had injected global markets with some much-needed risk appetite late last week.