Asian shares weaker after BoJ keeps policy steady, ECB eyed


Shutterstock photo - - Asian shares traded lower with the Bank of Japan keeping its policy steady as expected.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.4% after leaping to its highest close since May 2008 yesterday, while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.2%, after its highest close since June 2013.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.2% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.3%.

A meeting by the European Central Bank on Thursday is expected to bring further details on the bank's plans to start asset purchases, a move that would work in favor of the dollar's strength.

Overnight, U.S. stocks finished mixed due to uncertainty as to whether the European Central Bank will stimulate its economy on Thursday and whether the U.S. jobs report will come in solid on Friday.

The Dow 30 rose 0.06%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.08%, while the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.56%.

Stocks rose earlier after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said he had agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin to take steps to establish a "permanent ceasefire" in eastern Ukraine.

Putin later said his views were "very close" with Poroshenko on finding a political way out of the conflict.

Investors were eager for the European Central Bank's announcement on policy on Thursday, with many betting that the monetary authority will roll out stimulus measures to kick-start the economy after the euro area's annual inflation rate slowed to a five-year low last month.

On Friday, the U.S. will release its August non-farm payroll report, and investors hope the data will serve as weather vane pointing to the direction of monetary policy, sidestepping the greenback ahead of time.

While U.S. economy continues to gain steam, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has expressed concern over slackness persistent in the labor market.

On Thursday, the U.S. is to release trade-balance data, the ADP report on private-sector job creation and the weekly report on initial jobless claims.

Also on Thursday, the ISM is to publish a report on U.S. service sector activity. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing Forex and Currencies
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