Despite a move by the European Central Bank to offer cheap loans that may relieve the euro zone credit crunch, doubts among investors that it would inject liquidity into Europe's most troubled economies sent Asian stocks down on Thursday.
Chinese shares ( YAO , quote ) dropped 0.22% and Seoul's KOSPI ( EWY , quote ) dipped 0.05%.
As the year comes to a close, stock sales in the Asia-Pacific region are set to hit a three-year low in 2011. The trend is expected continue as weak performances by IPOs in the region discourage investors.
Asian electronics firms continued to take a hit. South Korea's Samsung dipped 0.5%. Meanwhile in Japan, Olympus shares tumbled an additional 3.05%, a day after its stocks slipped 1.4% as prosecutors raided the camera and medical device manufacturer's Tokyo offices on Wednesday.
Despite worries about the euro zone's debt crisis, European stocks -- especially banks -- rose in early trading. BNP Paribas ( BNPQY , quote ) and UniCredit ( UNCFF , quote ) were up 2.4% and 2.3%, respectively, as of mid-morning Thursday.
Asian and European currencies remained strong against the dollar. China's yuan appreciated 0.01% to 6.3393 to the dollar. The Japanese yen, meanwhile, rebounded 0.03% to 78.08 to the greenback.
The British pound rose 0.11% to $1.5688. The euro appreciated 0.22% to $1.3073.
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