Asia markets mixed; kyo closes lower
By Danny McCord, AFP Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 12:02 am TWN
HONG KONG--Asian stock markets were mixed Tuesday but Tokyo closed lower after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) cut its growth outlook and announced monetary easing that was only slightly bigger than market forecasts.
With U.S. markets closed because of Hurricane Sandy, Wall Street gave regional investors no lead but comments from Spain and Greece revived eurozone concerns.
Tokyo fell 0.98 percent, or 87.36 points, to 8,841.98 while Seoul closed 0.43 percent higher, adding 8.06 points to 1,899.58.
Sydney, which closed before the BOJ announcement, rose 0.20 percent or 8.8 points to 4,485.7.
Hong Kong was 0.38 percent lower, shedding 82.47 points to 21,428.58 but Shanghai gained 0.17 percent, or 3.41 points, to 2,062.35.
Just before the Tokyo market closed the central bank said it would add another 11 trillion yen (US$138 billion) to its 80 trillion asset purchase scheme to provide liquidity to the economy and jump-start growth.
It also said it expected the economy to grow just 1.5 percent in the year to March, instead of the 2.2 percent previously predicted.
Figures earlier Tuesday showed factory output fell 4.1 percent last month, much worse than the 3.1-percent drop expected, with a slump in production of cars, auto parts and machinery a key cause.
In Greece the finance ministry said banks would not be able to swap greatly devalued holdings of national debt for bonds issued by the new European Stability Mechanism.
The news comes as Athens remains locked in talks with its international creditors over accessing its next tranche of rescue funds, as well as over a possible extension of a timetable to initiate crucial reforms.
The yen clawed back some of its recent losses against the euro and dollar soon after the BOJ's comments.
Gold was at US$1,713.88 at 1045 GMT compared with US$1,712.20 late Monday.
In other markets:
— Singapore closed up 0.30 percent, or 9.12 points, at 3,038.73.
Singapore Telecom gained 1.25 percent to SG$3.23 and Fraser and Neave added 1.10 percent to SG$9.16.
— Manila closed 0.54 percent higher, gaining 29.25 points to 5,426.67.
Metropolitan Bank and Trust gained 0.86 percent to 93.65 pesos while Ayala Corp. rose 0.45 percent to 442 pesos.
— Wellington fell 0.25 percent, or 10.01 points, to 3,941.28.
Fletcher Building was down 2.12 percent at NZ$6.92 and Telecom was up 1.68 percent at NZ$2.42.
— Bangkok rose 1.16 percent, or 14.86 points, to 1,294.43.
Siam Cement gained 1.37 percent to 369.00 baht, while power firm EGCO dropped 0.77 percent to 129.50 baht.
— Kuala Lumpur added 0.13 percent, or 2.11 points, to 1,674.67.
Public Bank gained 0.9 percent to 15.88 ringgit, Hong Leong Bank rose 1.1 percent to 14.88 ringgit and British American Tobacco (Malaysia) eased 0.7 percent to 64.30 ringgit.
— Jakarta rose 0.77 percent, or 33.23 points, to 4,364.60.
— Mumbai fell 204.97 points, or 1.10 percent, to 18,430.85.
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