Asian shares weaker with Fed rate views weighing

Asian shares weaker with Fed rate views weighing

Asian shares weaker with Fed rate views weighing

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.1 percent to 19,619.14 but South Korea's Kospi rose 0.6 percent to 2,129.64.

Tokyo stocks edged lower Thursday morning as export-linked shares were hurt by the yen's advance against the U.S. dollar after the U.S. Federal Reserve opted to lift the target range for the federal funds rate.

In what was quiet day for top-tier economic data releases, upbeat US economic data had a muted effect on equities.

The Nikkei shed 0.4 percent to 19,521.59.

Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 7,373.68 while France's CAC 40 fell 0.3 percent to 4,984.99. Germany's DAX lost 0.3 percent to 11,948.

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The TOPIX index of all First Section issues ended up 1.38 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,572.69, after shedding 3.59 points the previous day. On the other hand, the Fed could raise interest rates from record lows at a pace faster than expected.

The Japanese and British central banks also meet this week. Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed flat at 23,827.95. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 also was steady at 5,759.10. Many economists expect the Bank of England to hold steady.

Asian markets were mixed Friday as investors awaited a meeting of finance and economic ministers of the Group of 20 industrial countries. "Europe and Japan have already pushed quantitative easing to the extreme and there is not much room for further easing", says Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore. The Netherlands has its own election this week, where politicians have also railed against the European Union and immigrants.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 77 cents to $47.63 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.0771 from $1.0726 in Asia, while the dollar was edged up to 113.42 yen from 113.40 yen. Brent crude, which is used to price global oils, dropped 69 cents to $50.66 a barrel.

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