Asian markets were mixed Thursday as investors maintained a watchful mode awaiting monetary easing measures from policymakers around the world to tackle the weakening of the global economic growth.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was up 1.36 percent or 121.06 points to 9046.10. Among major gainers were Panasonic Corp (5.16 percent), Tosoh Corp (3.98 percent) and Pioneer Corp (3.96 percent).
The Chinese Shanghai Composite fell 0.20 percent or 4.22 points to 2114.72. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.22 percent or 43.86 points to 20096.15. Among major gainers were Sands China Ltd (1 percent) and AIA Group Ltd (0.92 percent).
South Korea's KOSPI Composite Index marginally fell 0.08 percent or 1.56 points to 1955.40. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd dropped 0.15 percent and those of Hyundai Motor Co declined 1.80 percent.
India's BSE Sensex was marginally down 0.04 percent or 7.58 points to 17720.62. Among major losers were Sesa Goa (0.65 percent), Tata Consultancy Services (0.59 percent) and ITC Ltd (0.28 percent).
Economic activity slowed sharply in the U.S. from 4.1 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first estimate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of this year. Investors expect that the U.S. is likely to achieve only 2 percent growth for the year as a whole. But even then, the slowdown in the U.S. has not been steep enough to guarantee that the Federal Reserve will announce further stimulus this year. Market players sense the need for further quantitative easing measures from the Fed to revive the growth.
The same situation prevails in Japan where the GDP figures reveal that growth slowed down in the second quarter compared to that in the first quarter. Investors feel that the Bank of Japan will have to come up with bold measures to improve the country's economic condition.
The biggest drag on the global growth continues to be the debt burden faced by the euro zone. With the increase in borrowing costs weighing down the Spanish and Italian economies, investors sense that the European Central Bank will have to urgently announce bond purchasing policy.