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Asian Stocks Finish Mixed Thursday

Central banks in Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong cut interest rates.

Updated from 12:40 a.m. EDT

Asian stocks finished mixed Thursday after central banks in Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong slashed interest rates, following a global coordinated cut by other central banks on Wednesday, and

International Business Machines

(IBM) - Get Free Report

said third-quarter earnings will come in above expectations.

On Wednesday, the

Federal Reserve

, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, and other central banks announced a coordinated global rate cut.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average Thursday closed down 45.83 points, or 0.5%, to 9157.49, a five-year low. The index fell 9.4% on Wednesday, the highest single-day percentage drop since October 1987.

Prime Minister Taro Aso Thursday called for more action to bolster Japan's economy,

reports. The policy chief of Aso's Liberal Democratic Party said the prime minister wants ruling coalition leaders to consider a new emergency package beyond the $18 billion economic stimulus plan proposed in August.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong closed 3.3% higher.

Stocks in Europe were higher, as the FTSE 100 index in London rose 2.6% to 4479.39, while the DAX in Frankfurt rose 2%. Shares of metal companies and financials were rising.

Futures on the

S&P 500

in the U.S. were higher by 26.60 points to 1007.60, and were 18.48 points above fair value. Nasdaq futures rose 47 points to 1367, and were 25.84 points above fair value.

IBM said it will post third-quarter earnings above analysts' expectations, but revenue will come up short. Neither figure changes the tech giant's full-year profit outlook. IBM said late Wednesday that continuing operations profit rose 22% to $2.05 a share, while net income grew 20% to $2.8 billion. Revenue rose 5% to $25.3 billion.

Stocks in the U.S. fell Wednesday despite the move by the Federal Reserve to cut the fed funds rate by 50 basis points.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

, which traded erratically in a 433-point range during the day, ended down 189.01 points, or 2%, to 9258.10, marking another five-year record-low close. The

S&P 500

lost 11.29 points, or 1.1%, to 984.94, and the


fell 14.55 points, or 0.8%, to 1740.33.