HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed in early trade on Monday following strong advances at the end of last week after the Federal Reserve announced a huge stimulus plan to boost the US economy.
The euro eased slightly as forex dealers took a breather after the single currency made healthy gains Friday following the unveiling of the open-ended bond-buying programme.
Hong Kong rose 0.62 percent, Sydney added 0.26 percent, Seoul eased 0.13 percent and Shanghai was flat.
Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur were closed for public holidays.
The Fed said Thursday it would start a third programme of bond-buying, by purchasing $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed bonds, known as quantitative easing (QE3), and would keep the scheme in place until it saw substantial improvement in the jobs market.
It also said it would extend its "Operation Twist" scheme of selling short-term debt and buying long-term bonds with the proceeds in order to keep long-term interest rates as low as possible.
"The big question is how long this Fed-inspired rally will continue as QE3 was the last bazooka to be used in (its) arsenal," says Jason Hughes, analyst at IG Markets Singapore.
"When the smoke clears, there is a lot of uncertainty over what such stimulus can do for the global economy," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
The Fed move came a week after the European Central Bank said it would buy unlimited quantities of debt from under-pressure eurozone nations such as Spain and Italy in a bid to cut their borrowing costs, which had hit danger levels.
On Wall Street Friday the Dow rose 0.40 percent, the S&P 500 added 0.40 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.89 percent.
Thursday's Fed announcement, which dealers welcomed as going further than expected because it is open-ended, also gave a huge boost to the euro, although it weakened a little on Monday.
In early trade on Monday the single currency bought $1.3120, compared with $1.3127 late Friday in New York, while it was at 102.72 yen from 102.90 yen.
However, it is still well up from the $1.2916 and 100.36 yen before the Fed move.
The dollar bought 78.27 yen Monday, compared with 78.37 yen in New York.
On oil markets, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, gained four cents to $99.04 and Brent North Sea crude for November delivery added 12 cents to $116.78.
Gold was at $1,775.80 at 0200 GMT compared with $1,773.30 on Friday. (AFP)