Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-11-04 08:10:07
Asian stocks eased on Monday in sluggish trade as investors chose discretion over valor ahead of central bank meetings in Europe and the always-critical U.S. payrolls report.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was just a shade softer at 478.58. Australian shares .AXJO ended 0.4 percent lower while South Korea .KS11 lost 0.6 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
European shares were expected to open higher, with investors betting the European Central Bank will signal a further easing of monetary policy at its meeting on Thursday.
Financial spread betters predicted Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE will open 21 points, or 0.3 percent, higher, Germany's DAX .GDAXI will gain 31 to 38 points, or as much as 0.4 percent, and France's CAC 40 .FCHI could rise 14 to 17 points, or as much as 0.4 percent.
Mainland Chinese stocks .SSEC were flat with the property sector weak after the southern city of Shenzhen was reported to be raising the minimum down-payment on second home purchases to stem rising prices.
"It's a slow start and people are cautious ahead of some key events later this week," said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales. More»