Asia shares mixed after Fed decision

HONG KONG- Asian markets were mixed Thursday while the dollar resumed its upward march against the yen after the Federal Reserve wound up its vast bond-buying scheme and reiterated its plan to keep interest rates at record lows.

Tokyo rose 0.67 percent, or 104.29 points, to 15,658.20 and Sydney added 0.52 percent, or 28.52 points, to 5,476.2, while Shanghai finished 0.76 percent, or 18.07 points, higher at 2,391.08.

But Seoul eased 0.11 percent, or 2.24 points, lower at 1,958.93 and Hong Kong was down 0.55 percent in the late afternoon.

After a two-day meeting the US central bank’s policy committee said it would bring an end to six years of monetary easing as the economy gets back on track.

And to reassure investors worried about the global economy, it also said it would keep near-zero interest rates for “a considerable time” after the end of the quantitative easing programme, sticking to its timetable of an increase well into 2015.

However, while the decision was widely expected, its optimistic comments on the state of the jobs market were considered by analysts to be more hawkish than in the past, fuelling speculation of a possible earlier rate hike.

“The Fed is positioning itself, but it hasn’t taken the decision” to raise rates, said Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Capital Markets. “Its action still depends on how the economy performs.”