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MARKET COMMENT: Asian Summary:Stocks Mixed; RBA Signals Rate Cut Pause

02/22/2013 | 01:00am US/Eastern
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0544 GMT [Dow Jones] ASIAN SUMMARY: Regional markets are mixed following poor economic data from Europe; the Nikkei rises 0.6%, the S&P/ASX is up 0.8%, the HSI declines 0.4%, the Kospi is flat, the Taiex is 0.1% lower, the Sensex adds 0.1%, the Shanghai Composite rises 0.1% and the STI declines 0.2%. In FX markets, the euro rises against the yen as investors triggered stop-loss orders after taking their cues from Japan's firm stock prices. The EUR/JPY is at 123.33 from 122.83 late Tuesday in New York, the EUR/USD is at 1.3215 from 1.3189 and the USD/JPY is at 93.32 from 93.13. Australia's central bank Governor Glenn Stevens says interest rates were at an "appropriate" level for now, signalling a respite in its aggressive year-long rate-cutting cycle; Stevens adds that steep cuts throughout last year were "substantial" and helping stimulate growth. Singapore's 4Q GDP grows 3.3% on an annualized, seasonally-adjusted basis, besting the 1.8% on-quarter growth estimated in January and compared to a 4.6% on-quarter contraction in 3Q; the Ministry of Trade and Industry raises its full-year 2012 growth forecast to 1.3%, from 1.2% estimated previously. The ministry maintains its forecast for 2013 of GDP growth of between 1.0% and 3.0%. Spot gold is at $1,583.90/oz, up $6.90 from the NY close. April Nymex crude oil futures are up 26 cents at $93.10/bbl. (philip.vahn@dowjones.com)

 
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