Asian shares fall after Fed-driven rally

PHOTO: Asian shares fall after Fed-driven rally

HONG KONG - Asian shares slipped on Friday after a global rally led by emerging markets following the US Federal Reserve's surprise decision to keep its aggressive stimulus programme intact.

Tokyo edged down on profit-taking following two days of solid gains and Sydney dropped 0.34 per cent. Markets in Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed for public holidays.

Stock markets across the globe jumped following the Fed's announcement on Wednesday that it would hold off from tapering its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying scheme.

Developing economies such as Indonesia, the Philippines and India breathed a sigh of relief after suffering a heavy sell-off in August as investors bet on the Fed winding down its quantitative easing (QE) policy.

But Asian markets took a breather in Friday.

"Today looks like being one of those Fridays where markets take stock after a big news week," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

"We may see some profit-taking by short-term sellers disappointed that yesterday's strong upward momentum was not followed through," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

US stocks closed mixed on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 0.26 per cent to 15,636.55 while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.15 per cent to 3,789.38.

The dollar was at 99.41 yen in early Asia trade, hardly changed from New York Thursday afternoon but sharply up from the lower 98-yen range seen in Tokyo Thursday morning.

The euro bought $1.3536 and 134.51 yen compared with $1.3531 and 134.57 yen in US trade.

On oil markets, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery, fell 33 cents to $106.06 a barrel in morning trade while Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November dipped 15 cents to $108.61.

Gold cost $1,362.75 an ounce at 0240 GMT compared with $1,364.54 late Thursday.