Asian Equities Slide Lower

Asian stocks slipped on Thursday after Wall Street continued to pull back from record highs ahead of Friday’s closely-watched U.S. jobs data, while the nervous euro languished at an 11-year low prior to the European Central Bank’s policy meeting.  MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS shed 0.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei .N225 lost 0.2 percent and South Korean and Australian shares also posted modest losses.

Before slipping on Tuesday for the second successive session, both the Dow and S&P hit record highs on Monday, when the Nasdaq reached a 15-year peak.  Risk asset markets, shored up by liquidity provided by easing-minded central banks around the world, will have a chance to confirm the easing stance of the European Central Bank when it holds a policy meeting later in the session.

The ECB, which starts its quantitative easing (QE), or bond-buying, program of more than 1 trillion euros this month, is expected to detail the plan after the meeting.  Edgy before the ECB’s announcement on details of its QE scheme, the euro fell as far as $1.1061 EUR=, a low not seen since September 2003.


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