Asian stock markets were mixed Tuesday after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) eased monetary policy for the second straight month by expanding asset purchases.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei declined 0.98 percent or 87.36 points to 8841.98, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.38 percent or 82.47 points to 21428.58 and India’s BSE Sensex fell 0.91 percent while South Korea's Seoul Composite gained 0.43 percent or 8.06 points to 1899.58 and Chinese Shanghai Composite advanced 0.17 percent.
The Bank of Japan on Tuesday eased monetary policy for the second time in two months as slumping exports and industrial production raised worries that the world’s third largest economy may be slipping into a recession.
Official data released Tuesday showed that Japan's industrial output declined for the third straight month in September, sliding 4.1 percent month-on-month, indicating the faltering economy of the country and soft global demand. The data comes after a report earlier this month showed that Japan's trade deficit increased in September compared to the same month last year.
As widely expected, the central bank maintained its key interest rate at a range of zero to 0.1 percent by a unanimous vote, but decided to loosen policy by expanding asset purchases by 11 trillion yen ($138.5 billion), to 91 trillion yen, with 10 trillion of the increase split evenly between longer-term government bonds and treasury bills. It will also buy 300 billion yen of corporate bonds, 500 billion yen of exchange traded funds and 100 billion yen of commercial paper.
BoJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa also instructed the staff to create a new lending facility to provide unlimited amount of liquidity for 4 years intended for lending. However, Japanese stocks ended lower despite the BoJ easing as it failed to allay concerns over economic growth in the world’s third biggest economy.
“It’s unusual for the BOJ to conduct easing for two straight months, but Shirakawa needs to take forward-looking policies to prevent Japan’s contraction from worsening,” Mari Iwashita, a bond strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo, told Bloomberg.
Among the stocks, Nissan Motor Co Ltd plunged 2.54 percent and Honda Motor Co Ltd fell 2.75 percent while Fujikura Ltd slumped 4.64 percent after lowering its full year earnings forecast.
Canon Inc. gained 0.99 percent and Sony Corp. fell 1.28 percent while Sharp Corp climbed 6.17 percent following reports that the company was in talks with Apple regarding the display business.
Hong Kong shares fell as property firms extended declines for the second day after the local government imposed its first property tax on overseas buyers to cool property prices. New World Development Co Ltd. fell 2.81 percent and Henderson Land Development Co. fell 0.38 percent while Bank of Communications Co Ltd. declined 1.22 percent.
In Seoul, Kia Motors Corp. gained 2.34 percent and Hyundai Motor Co advanced 2.51 percent while LG Display Co Ltd. gained 0.15 percent.
Indian shares declined after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its key policy rates unchanged but cut the cash reserve ratio for banks by 25 bps. Oriental Bank of Commerce plunged 6.29 percent and Canara Bank plunged 5.51 percent.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock markets will be closed Tuesday for the second continuous day as Hurricane Sandy, Atlantic’s Ocean’s biggest-ever tropical storm, hit the east coast Monday. With market participants and regulators worried about the hazardous conditions developing due to the storm, the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq stock market released the statement announcing their closure for Tuesday.
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