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Asian stocks fall

Tuesday, September 02 08:56:15

Asian shares slipped on Tuesday as a U.S. holiday robbed markets of momentum, while the euro hit a fresh one-year low on uncertainty over the European Central Bank's policy decision later this week.

Spreadbetters expected an effectively flat open for Europe, with Britain's FTSE, Germany's DAX and France's CAX forecast to open about 0.1 percent higher.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.6 percent after managing to carve out gains on the previous day.

With U.S. markets closed for Labor Day, investors in Asia were somewhat subdued. The mood was also tempered by persistent geopolitical concerns and anemic manufacturing surveys in Asia and Europe showing pockets of weakness in the global economy.

Tokyo's Nikkei bucked the trend and rose 1.2 percent, with a planned cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe helping fuel reform hopes.

The dollar, boosted by the flagging euro and gains in Tokyo shares that dented the appeal of the safe-haven yen, rose to a seven-month high of 104.87 yen.

Immediate focus was on the ISM's report on U.S. manufacturing due later in the day, which might point to the U.S. phasing out quantitative easing just as the ECB contemplates its adoption.

The euro slipped to a fresh one-year low of $1.3115.

The common currency was expected to remain under pressure ahead of Thursday's European Central Bank policy meeting.

While many market participants do not expect the ECB to take major easing steps this week, a few are seen braced for new policy measures. Further central bank easing is considered a matter of when and not if in the face of risks to euro zone growth posed by the Ukraine conflict and stubbornly low inflation.

The decline in European headline inflation rates, collapse in German bund yields, and the call by the president of the ECB for 'growth friendly' fiscal policy suggests that Europe is finally moving towards quantitative easing, they said. (Reuters)

For more visit: www.businessworld.ie