- POSTED: 13 Sep 2013 16:38
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Asian markets were mostly lower in quiet trade on Friday, at the end of a positive week for investors, as attention turns to next week's US Federal Reserve meeting.
HONG KONG : Asian markets were mostly lower in quiet trade on Friday, at the end of a positive week for investors, as attention turns to next week's US Federal Reserve meeting.
Wall Street provided a soft lead, with no fresh cues to spur buying, as dealers await the Fed's plans for its huge stimulus programme.
Tokyo rose 0.12 percent, or 17.40 points, to 14,404.67 thanks to a pick-up in the dollar against the yen, but Sydney drifted 0.44 percent, or 22.9 points, lower to 5,219.6 after almost ending at a five-year high on Thursday.
Seoul finished 0.49 percent, or 9.74 points, down at 1,994.32 while Shanghai shed 0.86 percent, or 19.39 points, to 2,236.22. Hong Kong slipped 0.17 percent, or 38.44 points, to 22,915.28.
Global markets have enjoyed a bright week following a string of upbeat Chinese data - including on trade and factory output - indicating the world's number two economy may have turned a corner after suffering a slowdown in the first half of the year.
Figures showed Japan's economy grew faster than initially thought in the April-June quarter while concerns over a possible US-led strike on Syria also abated.
Eyes are now on Washington, where the Fed will hold a two-day policy meeting to decide on its next move for its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying scheme.
Most analysts expect the bank to begin winding it down this month as the US economy strengthens, although last week's below-forecast jobs figures suggest it will only reduce its bond purchases by a small amount.
"A relatively large cutback in purchases of $20 billion or more would suggest the Fed is likely to unwind the programme fairly quickly unless economic conditions deteriorate," CMC Markets' chief market analyst Ric Spooner said in a note, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
On Wall Street, the Dow fell 0.17 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.24 percent while the S&P 500 slipped 0.34 percent, bringing an end to its seven-session winning streak.
In other markets:
- Taipei fell 0.69 percent, or 57.16 points, to 8,168.2. Hon Hai rose 0.27 percent to Tw$75.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. slipped 0.97 percent to Tw$102.5.
- Wellington added 0.20 percent, or 9.45 points, to close at 4,650.94. Telecom advanced 1.1 percent to NZ$2.28 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare climbed 1.1 percent to NZ$3.75.
- Manila retreated 1.00 percent, or 62.37 points, to 6,133.24.