Asian stocks end the quarter on a mixed note

<p>The Nikkei 225 had its best quarter since late 2013.</p>

Asian stocks were mixed today (March 31st) despite a series of upbeat economic data from US and Europe.

A European Commission survey has shown economic sentiment at its highest since July 2011, while consumer spending grew in the US in February following two straight monthly declines, and consumers' incomes rose 0.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, China unveiled new policy moves to boost the sluggish property market. According to a statement on the People's Bank of China's website, the required down payment for second homes was lowered to 40 per cent from 60 per cent. In addition, select homeowners who have held a property for two years or more will be exempted from a sales tax, the finance ministry later announced.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index erased early gains on profit takings and ended one per cent lower at 3749. The Nikkei 225 lost one per cent to end the quarter at 19206. It was still its best quarter since late 2013.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 24,900 and South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.5 per cent to 2,041. 

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