Asian shares were mixed on Thursday as investors shrugged off overnight gains in the U.S and turned attention to central bank meetings in Europe. Japan's Nikkei came off a four-and-a-half-year high but held onto most of its gains amid expectations for aggressive monetary easing.
Australia's S&P ASX 200 moved off earlier session peaks, the Nikkei dipped below the 12,000-mark, South Korean shares fell on a strengthening in the won and Greater Chinese markets gave up Wednesday's strong gains.
Markets showed little immediate reaction to the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) decision to leave policy unchanged at Thursday's meeting. Investors widely expected the move and are instead looking ahead to April's meeting for bold stimulus under Haruhiko Kuroda's new leadership.
Global equity markets have had seen stellar gains this week on the back of strong U.S. economic data. Although some analysts warn of volatility ahead. "Even if markets keep the upward trend throughout the course of 2013, the ride would be bumpy as confidence is not completely restored. While the first month of 2013 has not been much 'risk-on and off', the on-off trouble resurfaced in February," said Norman Chan at Calibre Asset Management in a note.
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