Asian stocks pause as Fed measures boost fades

September 16, 2012 - 11:34 PM

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks were muted Monday as the boost faded from the Federal Reserve's announcement last week of new measures to energize the U.S. economy.

Oil rose while the dollar remained near a four-month low versus the euro as investors bet that the Fed's plan to keep interest rates low and spend billions buying securities would result in better returns on commodities.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.1 percent at 20,603.00 and South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.4 percent to 1,999.44.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent higher to 4,395.00. Mainland China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.8 percent to 2,095.48.

Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and New Zealand rose. Markets in Japan were closed for a holiday.

Global stock markets rallied late last week after the Fed announced it planned to buy $40 billion of mortgage bonds a month for as long as necessary as part of a strategy known as quantitative easing aimed at encouraging people to borrow money and spend it.

While investors were still in the mood to take on more risk, "the risk of profit taking has grown given the pace and magnitude of recent moves," strategists at Credit Agricole CIB said in a research note.

In the U.S. on Friday, the Dow 0.4 percent to close at 13,593.37. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.4 percent 1,465.77. The Nasdaq composite index climbed 0.9 percent to 3,183.95.

Crude for October delivery was up 21 cents to $99.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract finished up 69 cents to $99 per barrel in New York on Friday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3124 from $1.3117 late Friday. The dollar fell to 78.22 Japanese yen from 77.30 Japanese yen.