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Bridgestone lifts most Asian shares

Japanese stocks fell slightly early today as the yen firmed after remarks by Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso.

Bridgestone lifts most Asian shares

Most Asian shares gained on Tuesday in morning trade after Bridgestone Corp. surged on better-than-expected sales and profit forecasts while the yen’s gain weighed on Japanese exporters.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2% to 134 at 9:53 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.2% after minutes of last month’s Bank of Japan meeting said the nation’s economy remains relatively weak.

The yen gained against the US dollar in early trading after Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said that country was not thinking about foreign bond purchases or changing the law governing the Bank of Japan.

South Korea’s Kospi Index added 0.1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.1% as minutes of the central bank’s meeting said there are indications that lower rates are starting to spur the economy. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.09%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.11%. Wall Street was closed for a holiday overnight.

Bridgestone jumped 7.8% in Tokyo, poised for the highest close since 2006.

Gree Inc., a Japanese social-network website operator, added 5% on a share-buyback plan.

Sony Corp., Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, lost 0.5% as the yen strengthened against all of its 16 major counterparts.

Sonic Healthcare Ltd. plunged 7.3% in Sydney after its first-half net income fell short of estimates.

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