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Asian shares mostly down after Wall St record, ECB move

Asian shares mostly fell on Friday despite another record close on Wall Street after the European Central Bank unveiled a batch of measures to kick-start the stuttering eurozone economy, including negative interest rates.

HONG KONG: Asian shares mostly fell on Friday despite another record close on Wall Street after the European Central Bank unveiled a batch of measures to kick-start the stuttering eurozone economy, including negative interest rates.

The euro edged down from its New York prices but was still up from those levels seen in Asia earlier Thursday despite the ECB's unprecedented easing drive.

Tokyo was flat, dipping 2.13 points to 15,077.24 and Sydney rose 0.5 per cent, or 27.1 points, to 5,464.0.

Shanghai fell 0.54 per cent, or 10.92 points, to 2,029.96 and Hong Kong shed 0.69 per cent, or 158.66 points, to 22,951.00.

Seoul was closed for a public holiday.

New York stocks rallied after the ECB said it would slash interest rates and provide hundreds of billions of euros to banks in a bid to fight off deflation and spur economic growth.

After a closely watched policy meeting, it announced its deposit rate would be cut to -0.10 percent. This means banks will be charged for leaving funds at the ECB in the hope they might lend it on to businesses and consumers instead.

It also cut its lending rate to a record low of 0.15 percent from 0.25 percent and said up to 400 billion euros ($550 billion) would be made available in cheap loans to banks as long as they lent more to the private sector.

While fresh easing measures were expected and had been largely factored into the market, investors were cheered by the news. The Dow rose 0.58 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.64 percent to end at all-time highs, while the Nasdaq rallied 1.05 percent.

- US jobs data in focus -

On currency markets the euro dipped sharply after the announcement but soon recovered to sit at $1.3662 and 139.93 yen in late US trade.

In afternoon Tokyo exchanges it fetched $1.3651 and 139.64 yen -- but was still up from $1.3600 and 139.43 yen in Tokyo earlier Thursday.

The dollar was at 102.28 yen Friday against 102.41 yen in New York.

"This package of aggressive measures and the central bank's willingness to do more should have been negative for the euro and it was initially," said Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management in a research note.

But by the end of the North American trading session the euro had recovered all of its losses, finishing in positive territory, she noted.

"While the ECB maintains a dovish bias and has made it clear that they are not done easing, for the time being investors perceive (the) announcements to be positive for the eurozone economy and for the euro."

Investors will now turn their attention to the release later Friday of US jobs data that will give an updated view of the state of the world's number one economy.

Oil prices were mixed. The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in July, fell nine cents to $102.39 a barrel while Brent North Sea crude for July was up nine cents at $108.88.

Gold fetched $1,251.85 an ounce at 1120 GMT compared with $1,246.16 late Thursday.

In other markets:

-- Jakarta ended up 0.03 percent, or 1.61 points, at 4,937.18.

Cement maker Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa gained 2.16 percent to 23,600 rupiah, while tin miner Timah fell 2.11 percent to 1,390 rupiah.

-- Kuala Lumpur lost 6.30 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 1,862.70.

Utility Tenaga Nasional fell 1.7 percent to 11.70 ringgit, while SapuraKencana Petroleum lost 0.3 percent to 4.04. Budget carrier AirAsia gained 0.8 percent to 2.51 ringgit.

-- Singapore closed 0.60 percent higher, or 19.79 points, to 3,299.43.

Real estate developer Capitaland gained 0.95 percent to reach Sg$3.20 while oil rig maker Keppel Corp also rose 0.47 percent to Sg$10.75.

-- Taipei was flat, edging down 6.26 points to 9,134.46.

Hon Hai rose 0.32 percent to Tw$93.2 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. fell 0.41 percent to Tw$122.5.

-- Wellington added 0.44 percent, or 22.95 points, to 5,182.44.

Fletcher Building climbed 3.0 percent to NZ$9.19 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained 1.7 percent to NZ$4.68.

-- Manila eased 0.14 percent, or 9.82 points, to 6,762.62.

Megaworld Corp. slipped 0.86 percent to 4.61 pesos while Philippine Long Distance Telephone edged down 0.07 percent to 2,888 pesos.

-- Bangkok added 0.33 percent, or 4.86 points, to 1,458.02.

Department store operator Central Pattana rose 2.09 percent to 48.75 baht, while Bumrungrad Hospital gained 2.61 percent to 118 baht.

-- Mumbai rose 1.51 percent, or 376.95 points, to end at 25,396.46.

Tata Global Beverages surged 11.23 percent to 171.35 rupees and real estate company Sobha Developers gained 10.68 percent to 508.45 rupees.

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