Asia shares mixed, Nikkei ends flat
By Danny McCord, AFPHONG KONG--Asian markets were mixed on Thursday, with Tokyo ending flat after a seesaw session that saw parts suppliers hit after global aviation agencies grounded Boeing's Dreamliner.
January 18, 2013, 12:23 am TWN
The euro and dollar resumed their upward trend against the yen after Japan's Economic Minister Akira Amari distanced himself from his earlier reported comments, that too sharp a fall in the yen could be bad.
Tokyo edged up 9.20 points to 10,609.64, after heavy losses in the previous session on the back of a strengthening yen.
Seoul lost 0.16 percent, or 3.18 points, to 1,974.27 but Sydney added 0.38 percent, or 18.2 points, to 4,756.6.
Shanghai fell 1.06 percent, or 24.59 points, to 2,284.91, while Hong Kong ended flat, dipping 17.23 points to 23,339.76.
The yen had strengthened after Amari on Tuesday was quoted as saying that the currency's rapid decline in recent weeks was putting Japan's fragile recovery at risk by making imports more expensive.
The rise in the currency hit the Nikkei, which tumbled Wednesday after hitting a 32-month high earlier in the week.
But the unit eased back on Thursday after Amari said his comments had been misinterpreted.
In afternoon trade the dollar bought 88.62 yen, up from 88.37 yen in New York late Wednesday, while the euro rose to 117.90 yen from 117.42 yen.
The single currency bought US$1.3305 Thursday, from US$1.3286.
Eyes are now on a Bank of Japan rate-setting meeting next week to see if it follows a monetary policy line closer to the new government, which is calling for more loosening.
Shares in two of the country's biggest airlines ended with mixed fortunes after suffering a sell-off in the wake of their announcement that they would ground their Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleets.
Japanese authorities said Thursday the grounding would continue indefinitely until all batteries were confirmed to be safe.
However JAL finished the day 0.27 percent higher — a reversal from the 1.0 percent loss in midsession — while ANA ended 0.54 percent off after slipping more than one percent earlier.
Component suppliers fared worse but still pared their morning losses. Carbon fibre maker Toray Industries lost 1.96 percent and battery maker GS Yuasa tumbled 4.98 percent.
Wall Street provided an anaemic lead, with the Dow falling 0.17 percent, the S&P 500 flat and the Nasdaq up 0.22 percent.