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Yen fuels Japan-led advance in Asian stocks

Yen fuels Japan-led advance in Asian stocks

Asian shares gained on Monday in midday session led by Japanese stocks after the yen extended losses past 105 to the dollar.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.2% to 141 as of 12:46 p.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.3%, heading for the biggest annual gain since 1972. The larger Topix (TPX) index increased 0.7% as the yen extended its loss versus dollar after falling 1% last week. The Japanese currency touched 105.41 on Monday, the weakest since October 2008.

The euro was also firm at 144.82 yen, having been as far as 145.67 yen on Friday.

South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.5%, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.1%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 0.2%, and Taiwan’s Taiex index rose 0.7%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1% after Premier Li Keqiang said China has the conditions to keep its economy and financial markets stable next year by deepening reform and further opening up.

In corporate news, Forge Group Ltd., an engineering services firm, sky rocketed 61% in Sydney after saying its contract in the Roy Hill mining project is worth about A$830 million ($735 million).

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Japan’s second-biggest company in the sector, fell 5.2% on a report operating profit probably dropped.

In commodity markets, London copper was up at its highest level in four months, with signs of economic revival in Asia and the US burnishing the demand outlook for industrial metals.

Gold rose to $1,213, but remained on track for its biggest annual loss in three decades. Brent crude oil was 5 cents firmer at $112.23 a barrel, while US light sweet crude eased back 8 cents to $100.24 a barrel.

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