Asian shares mostly up, but yen sinks Tokyo


HONG KONG- Asia’s markets mostly rose on Wednesday following a slight rebound on Wall Street but Tokyo took another hit as the yen rallied after the Bank of Japan said it would not extend its stimulus in the near future.

Oil prices edged back a touch after surging on Tuesday on renewed fears about tensions in Ukraine while Australian shares were supported by a surge in retailer David Jones after it received a takeover offer valuing it at almost US$2 billion.

Tokyo tumbled 1.82 percent by the break but Hong Kong added 1.37 percent, Sydney was 1.00 percent higher, Shanghai gained 0.23 percent and Seoul was up 0.15 percent.

In New York the three main indexes enjoyed a pick-up after suffering three successive sessions of losses that were led by the Nasdaq as investors feared that big-name tech firms such as Facebook, Google and Tesla were overpriced.

The Nasdaq — which has lost more than five percent since the start of March — jumped 0.81 percent, while the Dow edged up 0.06 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.38 percent.

In Japan the Nikkei sank for a fourth straight session as the yen strengthened after central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda dismissed any hopes of further monetary easing soon.

Kuroda told a news conference Tuesday that the economy was getting back on track as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s big-spending, easy money policy drive kicks in.

He also sought to soothe fears over the higher sales tax that came in on April 1, saying it would not hurt a nascent recovery, despite warnings to the contrary.

SOURCE: AFP

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