Asian markets fall as Bank of Japan holds back on stimulus

Guy Bentley
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Asian markets have fallen for the fourth day after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) decided against injecting further monetary stimulus.

The BoJ will continue to expand the monetary base by 60 to 70 trillion yen per year. The decision was widely expected. London-based consultancy Capital Economics suggest the BoJ's optimistic tone means the chance of stimulus being announced as soon as July has shrunk substantially.

The BoJ's statement noted for the first time that QQE is working, adding to the positive message of the "Outlook on Economic Activity and Prices".

However, the prolonged drag on demand from tighter fiscal policy, as well as the probable moderation in inflation and loan growth, still point to further easing, according to Capital Economics.

Senior officials from Thailand's military met with opposition political groups and argued for fresh elections this year and an end to the protests.

Consumer confidence in Australia has fallen to its lowest point since 2011 after the government's budget unveiled a series of tax hikes and spending cuts. The Federal Reserve is set to release the minutes of its last meeting later today.