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Weakening yen boosts Asian stocks

Weakening yen boosts Asian stocks

Asian shares gained on Monday in morning trade as a weakening yen strengthened the earnings outlook for Japanese exporters and U.S. consumer spending surged during the Thanksgiving weekend.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.4% to 123 as of 10:57 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.7%, a third day of gains. Japanese investors expect rally to extend after polls showed opposition leader Shinzo Abe – a proponent of unlimited monetary easing and a higher inflation target - will win a 16 December election.

Contributing to the positive sentiment, the yen weakened against all 16 major currencies after minutes of last month’s Bank of Japan policy meeting showed members calling for powerful monetary easing.

In the U.S., shoppers spent 13% more during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. Spending increased to $59.1 billion from 22 November through 25 November from $52.4 billion last year, the National Retail Federation said.

In Europe, Eurozone finance ministers return to Brussels today to discuss the clearance of an aid payment to Greece, raising new hope.

In South Korea, consumer confidence rebounded from a nine-month low this month as the economy began to show signs of improvement.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed and China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi Index slid 0.3% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index climbed 0.4% and Taiwen’s Taiex Index jumped 0.8%.

Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s largest carmaker, advanced 2.3% as the yen declined to a seven-month low against the dollar. Kangwon Land Inc. jumped 9% in Seoul after the government approved plans for the casino and hotel operator to expand.

Samsung Electronics Co. was down 1.7%, after closing at a record high in Seoul on 23 November, as Apple Inc. sought to add infringement claims over six more Samsung products to its multi-billion-dollar patent lawsuit against the company.

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