Asia stocks fall on Fed, earnings , Nikkei ends up 1.2 % after BoJ

Asia stocks fall on Fed, earnings , Nikkei ends up 1.2 % after BoJAsian stocks were generally lower on Thursday, amid speculation the Federal Reserve may start decreasing its bond-buying program sooner than expected .

During late Asian trade, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 1.25 % , the index ended ASX/200 of 0.28 % from Australia , while Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed up 1.23 %.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it will keep buying USD85 billion a month in mortgage and Treasury bonds in order to safeguard the faltering economic recovery.

Fed officials stuck to the view that the economy is growing “at a moderate pace ” and said that downside risks were declining , prompting speculation that the central bank could start decreasing the stimulus at its December meeting .

In Tokyo, the Nikkei extended losses after the Bank of Japan made no changes to its monetary easing policy at the conclusion of its two-day meeting.

The BoJ confirmed plans to increase the monetary base at an annual rate of about JPY70 trillion JPY60 trillion.

The central bank maintained its stable inflation forecast, hoping that core consumer inflation in fiscal 2015 to hit 1.9 % .

The BoJ raised its growth forecast for the fiscal year that begins in April 2014 from 1.3% to 1.5 % .

USD / JPY was trading at 98.38 in late Asian trade, moving out of the previous meeting record of 99.66.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell as traders looked ahead to key manufacturing data from China at the end of the week to measure the strength of the world’s second largest economy.

The government will announce “October index on Friday, while HSBC will also produce definitive data on their purchasing managers of official manufacturing purchasing manager’s index for October on Friday.

Chinese lenders were mostly lower after the publication of its quarterly results. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China lost 1.6 % , while China Minsheng Bank fell 2.5 % .

Elsewhere, in Australia, the index eased ASX/200 previous session up to five years.

National Australia Bank fell 2.5 % after the lender reported profits for the entire year were largely in line with market expectations.

The results weighed on other shares in the sector, with Westpac Banking Group to 1.75% and Commonwealth Banking Group down 1.2 %.

Looking ahead, European stock futures pointed to a lower open after the Federal Reserve was less pessimistic than expected in its assessment of the economy after its last policy meeting.

The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a loss of 0.45 % at the opening, the CAC 40 futures in France fell 0.4 % , the FTSE 100 futures indicated a drop of London 0.35 %, while that Germany’s DAX futures pointed to a loss of 0.3 % at the opening


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