Asian stocks soar after ECB announcement

<p>Sentiment was high after the European Central Bank launched a Quantitative Easing programme. </p>

Asian shares rallied today (January 23rd) after the European Central Bank (ECB) launched a quantitative easing (QE) programme to revive the sluggish eurozone economy. The euro shed 0.2 per cent to $1.1344 (£0.75). 

"It’s quite pleasing to see them coming out with force," Nader Naeimi, from AMP Capital Investors, told Bloomberg. "Market expectations were high and ECB head Mario Draghi managed to surprise even the highest of expectations. It should help to stabilise European growth."

However, fresh China data slightly dampened trading sentiment. An HSBC report said China's manufacturing shrank for a second month in January, mainly because of weak demand. This comes a few days after it emerged that the world's second-biggest economy expanded 7.4 per cent last year, the slowest pace since 1990.

Japan's Nikkei gained one per cent, New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.5 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.5 per cent. Taiwan’s Taiex index gained 1.1 per cent, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index climbed 1.2 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 1.3 per cent.

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