Tokyo surges on weak yen, but Asian shares fall
AFPHONG KONG--Asian shares fell Friday after the previous day's gains but Tokyo hit a 23-month high as the yen sank further after Japan's new leaders unveiled a stimulus package worth hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars.
January 12, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
While the yen came under fresh selling pressure after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe outlined his economy-boosting plan, the euro was also lifted by unexpectedly positive comments about the eurozone by European Central Bank head Mario Draghi.
However, the latest inflation data out of China was unable to impress investors as much as the better-than-expected trade figures the previous day that indicate a pick-up in the world's number two economy.
Tokyo climbed 1.40 percent, or 148.93 points, to 10,801.57 — its highest level since February 2011, but Sydney fell 0.28 percent, or 13.5 points, to close at 4,709.5 and Seoul lost 0.50 percent, or 10.13 points to 1,996.67.
Hong Kong fell 0.39 percent, or 90.24 points, to 23,264.07 and Shanghai closed down 1.78 percent, or 40.66 points, at 2,243.00.
Abe, whose Liberal Democratic Party swept to power last month, set out a US$226.5 billion stimulus to kick-start the limp economy with plans to rebuild tsunami-hit areas, beef up the military, boost employment and end deflation.
Also Friday data showed that Japan logged a bigger-than-expected 222.4-billion-yen deficit in November as exports to Europe and China dropped.
The events in Tokyo sent the yen tumbling.
The unit, which hit a record high of 75 against the U.S. dollar in late 2011, has been tumbling since Abe promised in his election campaign last year that he would unveil more stimulus and also urge the Bank of Japan for more aggressive monetary easing.