Most Asian markets traded lower on 31 October
Most Asian markets traded lower on 31 October (Reuters).

Asian markets outside India traded lower on 31 October, and followed a downbeat handover from Wall Street, after the US Federal Reserve's latest policy outlook was believed to be less dovish than what investors had expected.

However, The Bank of Japan's decision to leave its monetary stimulus programme unchanged provided a little respite to the markets.

The Japanese Nikkei finished 1.20% lower or 174.41 points at 14,327.94.

Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.10% lower or 5.40 points at 5,425.50.

South Korea's Kospi finished 1.43% lower or 29.49 points at 2,030.09.

The Shanghai Composite was trading 0.80% lower or 17.25 points at 2,143.21.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading 0.52% lower or 120.94 points to 23,183.08.

India's BSE Sensex was trading 0.22% higher or 46.96 points to 21,080.93.

The US Federal Reserve, unsure if America's economy can sustain itself in the absence of external stimulus, decided to extend its massive monthly bond-buying programme.

On 30 October, the world's most powerful central bank said it would continue buying securities worth $85bn (£53bn, €62bn) a month, and cited weak growth in the world's largest economy as the reason behind its decision.

Wednesday's decision marks the second time that the Fed has deferred the planned reduction of its bond-buying programme.

Without openly referring to the recent partial government shutdown, the Fed criticised government policies, saying "fiscal policy is restraining economic growth".

The policy-setting committee said that economic activity expanded at a moderate pace, and added that unemployment remained at elevated levels despite some improvement in the job market.

Meanwhile, the recovery in the housing sector has slowed down recently, although household spending has improved. The committee also highlighted the fact that inflation had been running below its long-term objective.

"The [FOMC] committee decided to await more evidence that [economic] progress will be sustained before adjusting the pace of its purchases," the Fed said in a statement.

"Accordingly, the committee decided to continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40bn per month and longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45bn per month."

Paul Ashworth, Chief US Economist at Capital Economics said in a note to clients:"The Fed's decision to maintain its asset purchases at $85bn per month will, given that most commentators expected a modest reduction in the pace today, be immediately bond and equity positive. We wonder, however, whether the longer lasting reaction will be increased volatility in markets, as the Fed's communications become even more confused".

"In the accompanying statement, the Fed acknowledges that there has been "growing underlying strength in the broader economy", but wants to "await more evidence that progress will be sustained before adjusting the pace of its purchases." Clearly the Fed has been spooked by the extent of the surge in long-term interest rates over the past couple of months and the impact that now appears to be having on the housing market", Ashworth said.

"We suspect officials are also increasingly concerned, as we are, that Congress could trigger a Federal shutdown within the next month. Looking at the Fed new forecasts, the median projection from all meeting participants puts the fed funds rate at 1.0% at end-2015 and 2.0% at end-2016. That is slightly more dovish than the futures market had priced in before the announcement. Fed funds futures had the rate at 1.15% at end-2015 and 2.0% by August 2016 (the contracts don't go as far as December 2016 yet.)," Ashworth added.

"Our suspicion now is that the Fed will wait until the December FOMC meeting before seriously considering again whether to begin tapering or not, which is the next time the forecasts will be updated and a press conference is scheduled", he added.

Wall Street Down

On Wall Street, indices ended lower on 30 October, as investors took profits after the Fed decision.

The Dow finished 61.59 points lower at 15,618.76.

The S&P 500 ended 8.64 points lower at 1,763.31 while the Nasdaq closed 21.72 points lower at 3,930.62.

"We've been up so many days in a row, you set a record every day, it's not surprising people decided to take some profits," JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago told CNBC.

Company Stock Movements

In Tokyo, ANA fell 4.7% after the airline lowered its 2013 net profit outlook by 65%. The firm cited higher fuel costs and slow service expansion, from delays in Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, as reasons for the downgrade.

All Nippon Airways lost over 4% after it slashed its full-year guidance by almost 50%.

Automaker Honda Motor shed 1% after it left its operating profit guidance unchanged.

Gaming major Nintendo was down 1% after it reported a higher-than-expected quarterly loss.

In Shanghai, Citic Securities lost 1.7% while Haitong Securities was down 1%.

Property developer Gemdale and rival Poly Real Estate gained over 3% each after President Xi Jinping pledged to increase land supply for homes, and increase spending on affordable housing projects, all in a bid to stabilise China's realty market.

In Hong Kong, China Minsheng Banking lost 2.4%. The country's eighth-largest lender said its interest income rose by a meager 3%.

Bank of Communications lost 1.9%. Rival Agricultural Bank of China inched up 0.3%.

In Mumbai, Dr.Reddy's Laboratories dropped 1.3% as investors took profits. The stock struck a record high of 2,545.15 rupees in early trade.

Technology major Infosys shed 0.4% on news that the company agreed to pay $34m to settle a US work visa probe.

Telecoms giant Bharti Airtel added 1.1%.

In Sydney, the country's largest lender by assets National Australia Bank lost 1.8% ever after it reported a 9.3% increase in full-year cash earnings.

Qantas Airways dropped 2% on news that the Australian carrier and Japan Airlines would increase their stake in Jetstar Japan.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Macquarie and Westpac shed over 1% each on the news.

Anglo American miner Rio Tinto added over 1% while rival Fortescue Metals shed 1%.

In Seoul, Korean Air tanked 11% on news that it is infusing 150bn Korean won into its sister firm Hanjin Shipping.

Hanjin Shipping added 1% on the news.