Asia: Mixed after upbeat US Fed outlook

HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed yesterday, taking up the baton from a record-breaking Wall Street, after the Federal Reserve delivered a broadly upbeat outlook on the US economy and suggested interest rates would remain low for some time.

The dollar eased marginally against the yen after a New York sell-off, while oil remained elevated on fears over the crisis in Iraq as the United States considers air strikes against militants sweeping through the country.

Tokyo jumped 1.62 per cent to finish at a five-month high, closing up 245.36 points to 15,361.16 despite a stronger yen. Sydney rose by 1.59 per cent to close at 5,468.2 points and Seoul put on 0.13 per cent to 1,992.03.

After a closely watched meeting, the Fed’s policy committee said it would slash a further US$10 billion off its monthly bond-buying and maintain its “highly accommodative” monetary policy of record low interest rates.

q Bangkok added 0.73 per cent to 1,461.91. Coal producer Banpu closed flat at 28.75, while Advance Info Service rose 0.47 per cent to 216.00 baht.

q Wellington rose 0.15 per cent to 5,192.15. Warehouse Group was up 2.15 per cent at NZ$3.32 while Fletcher Building fell 0.11 per cent to NZ$8.99.

q Taipei added 0.30 per cent to 9,307.4. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co rose 0.40 per cent to T$126.0, while Acer fell 0.45 per cent to T$22.3.

q Jakarta ended down 0.48 per cent to 4,864.27. Coal miner Bukit Asam gained 2.61 per cent to 10,800 rupiah, while retailer Mitra Adiperkasa slipped 3.50 per cent to 4,970 rupiah.

q Mumbai fell 0.18 per cent to 25,201.80. Bharat Electronics rose 7.73 per cent at 1961.35 rupees, while United Spirits was down 7.73 per cent to 2589.30 rupees. AFP