By Aysu Bicer
ANKARA (AA) - Stock markets in Asia closed Friday in the red following central banks taking divergent monetary policy paths.
Amid inflationary pressures and concerns over the omicron variant, all major shares in Asia saw dips in value.
The Asia Dow, which includes blue-chip companies in the region, fell 30.73 points, or 0.82%, to close at around 3,737 points.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 stock exchange was down by 520.64 points, or 1.79%, to 28,545.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ), which did not change its interest rates and monetary policy today, also signaled that it would continue its loose monetary policies.
While the bank extended the duration of its special program, which provides financing support to small- and medium-sized companies against the effects of COVID-19, by six months, to September 2022, the funding program it provided for corporate bonds and commercial securities, mainly issued by large-scale companies, will continue until March.
The Hang Seng, the benchmark for blue-chip stocks trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange, fell 282.87 points, or 1.20%, to 23,192.
China’s Shanghai stock exchange was down by 42.65 points, or 1.16%, to 3,632, while the Indian Sensex benchmark was down 672.84 points, or 1.16%, to close at 57,228 points.
The Singapore index also fell by 8.70 points, or 0.28%, to 3,120.