The Asian markets are looking at a mixed lead with a touch of weakness on Thursday as the Federal Reserve's decision to extend Operation Twist may be slightly underwhelming to investors.
In the run-up to the FOMC's decision, markets had largely priced in some kind of additional stimulus - and that's what they got, although more was expected. Profit taking may be in order.
Operation Twist involves replacing short-term securities in the Fed's bond portfolio with longer-term securities in an effort to push already low long-term interest rates even lower.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the move was one of the ways the central bank could boost the economy since the most traditional policy action, the lowering of interest rates, is essentially not available.
The major U.S. averages finished mixed on Wednesday as the NASDAQ crept up 0.69 points or less than a tenth of a percent to finish at 2,930.45, while the Dow edged down 12.94 points or 0.1 percent to end at 12,824.39 and the S&P 500 slipped 2.29 points or 0.2 percent to 1,355.69.
The major European markets moved higher on Wednesday, ahead of the Fed's announcement. The DAX of Germany gained 0.45 percent and the FTSE 100 of the U.K. climbed by 0.64 percent. The CAC 40 of France rose by 0.28 percent, but the SMI of Switzerland declined by 0.27 percent.
The Asian markets were mostly higher on Wednesday as Indonesia soared 1.6 percent, while Japan's Nikkei surged 1.11 percent, Taiwan gained 0.84 percent, South Korea's KOSPI spiked 0.65 percent, Malaysia jumped 0.59 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.53 percent, Singapore's Straits Times collected 0.47 percent and Thailand was up 0.01 percent. China's Shanghai Composite shed 0.34 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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