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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.
"There is no conviction in the market," one pro said. "You look at this grind higher and you have dividend payers and defensive stocks moving along with it."
Stocks ended near session highs in choppy trading, with the S&P 500 finishing in positive territory for the first Monday in 2013 and the Dow close to hitting its record closing high, as investors shook off earlier worries over China and a lack of progress over the sequester.
U.S. stock index futures were lower Monday amid concerns about the U.S.'s unresolved "sequester" and the introduction of harsher-than-expected property curbs in China.
Asian stocks fell on Monday, dragged down by a slide of 3.7 percent in Shanghai following fresh property curbs. Japanese shares, however, briefly touched a fresh four-and-a-half year peak as comments from the government's nominee as the next Bank of Japan governor fueled hopes for aggressive monetary easing.
European shares edged lower on Friday, impacted by weaker bank and mining stocks, and traders expected equities to stay trapped in a tight range this month.
Renewed unease about sovereign and regulatory risk in Mongolia - triggered by a dispute between the government and mining giant Rio Tinto over the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project - is on the rise but shouldn't erode confidence among longer term investors in the mineral-rich nation.
Jay Richards, Investment Manager, GTL Capital Management says the Mongolian government is in a better position than Rio Tinto in terms of pressuring the company to come to terms with payments on the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine.
European shares closed higher on Thursday as investors watched to see whether a last-minute deal can avert the $85 billion of automatic spending cuts due in the U.S. on Friday.
Here's the "Fast Money" Final Trade.
A massive sell-off in Asian stock markets on Thursday erased the previous day's strong gains after Wall Street fell on minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting as worries mount the United States could stop or cut its monetary stimulus program.
Some of the names on the move ahead of the open.
Marius Kloppers, outgoing CEO at BHP Billiton discusses the global miner's 43 percent profit slump while incoming CEO Andrew Mackenzie describes BHP's future strategy.
Evan Lucas, Market Strategist at IG Markets says the appointment of Andrew Mackenzie as CEO of BHP is at a fairly aggressive timing.
Paul Trainor, Senior Portfolio Manager at Macquarie Private Portfolio Management says he has a preference for BHP Billiton shares over rival Rio Tinto. He says incoming CEO Andrew Mackenzie will continue the company's strategy to remain highly diversified.
Marius Kloppers, outgoing CEO of BHP Billiton reassures shareholders at a Sydney press conference that the world's biggest miner won't change tack after shocking investors by announcing Kloppers' retirement in May.
2013’s surge in merger and acquisition-related activity is heading for Europe, according to strategists who say the continent has the same essential ingredients in place for a revival in deals as the U.S.
Japan's Nikkei extended losses on Friday on news that a conservative may be the leading candidate to head the Bank of Japan while Australian and South Korean shares ended a range-bound session relatively flat, weighed down by weak euro zone growth.
Chris Stott, Portfolio Manager at Wilson Asset Management says diversified miners will lead the rally on the Australian market this year. He adds that Rio Tinto is a turnaround story, and a good way to play the mining cycle over the next 12 months.
Stocks finished flat after hugging the flatline for most of the session in lackluster trading Thursday, as disappointing economic data from the euro zone overshadowed optimism over an upbeat jobless claims report and a flurry of M&A announcements.