HONG KONG, Sept 15: Asian on Wednesday waded into the currency markets after the yen struck a fresh 15-year high against the dollar, while upbeat economic data out of the United States helped most Asian stocks higher.
The surprise move by the government in Tokyo -- the first since 2004 -- sent shares on Japan's Nikkei index soaring as the yen tumbled against the dollar.
Stocks jumped 2.34 per cent, or 217.25 points, to 9,516.56 after sitting in negative territory early on as the yen wore on against the dollar.
The Japanese unit tumbled to 85.39 against the greenback later Wednesday after jumping to 82.86 a day after Prime Minister Naoto Kan saw off a leadership challenge amid claims he was not doing enough to curb the currency's rise.
We conducted a market intervention, Noda told reporters. We will continue to monitor the movement of the market and take determined steps, including intervention, when necessary. The Bank of Japan strongly expects that the action taken by the Ministry of Finance in the foreign exchange market will contribute to stable foreign exchange rate formation. The move came as the yen's appreciation has put many Japanese exporters under pressure, eroding their repatriated earnings and weighing heavily on a sector that is key to the economy's recovery.
The strong currency also makes imports cheaper, prolonging a cycle of deflation that has hurt the country for years as consumers defer purchases in the hope of further price falls.
Share traders were given a boost after the United States said retail sales had risen more than expected last month.
Sydney gained 0.76 per cent, or 35 points, to 4,661.5 while the Australian dollar hit pre-crisis levels against the greenback, touching 94.57 US cents.
Hong Kong was 0.14 per cent higher, adding 29.60 points to close at 21,725.64 but Shanghai slipped 1.34 per cent, or 36.02 points, to 2,652.50.
Sentiment was clouded after a German sentiment indicator, based on a survey of analysts and institutional investors, plunged 18.3 points to minus 4.3 points, its fifth monthly drop in a row and the lowest since February 2009.
On oil markets New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, fell 51 cents to $76.29 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for October delivery slipped five cents to $79.11.
Singapore closed up 0.73 per cent, or 22.38 points, at 3,071.03. Jardine Cycle and Carriage surged 1.98 per cent to 38.12 Singapore dollars and Singapore Telecom climbed 0.99 per cent to 3.07.Jakarta, which reopened after a week-long holiday, soared 3.90 per cent, or 126.14 points, to 3,357.02.
Bank Negara Indonesia rose 8.84 per cent to 4,000 rupiah, car distributor Astra International jumped 8.04 per cent to 57,800 and state-owned miner Aneka Tambang increased 4.71 per cent to 2,225.
Kuala Lumpur closed down 0.10 per cent, or 1.49 points, at 1,472.95. Fast food giant KFC lost 3.90 per cent to 3.17 ringgit, property developer Bandar Raya Developments shed 2.70 per cent to 2.18 and low-cost carrier AirAsia gained 2.10 per cent to 1.96.
Wellington closed flat, edging 2.24 points lower to 3,195.28. OceanaGold rose 3.14 per cent to 5.25 New Zealand dollars on a stronger gold price and Telecom was unchanged at 2.06.
Mumbai rose 0.80 per cent, or 155.15 points, to 19,502.11.—AFP GENEVA, Sept 15: An acrimonious multi-billion dollar battle between aviation giants Airbus and Boeing will shift up a gear on Wednesday when the World Trade Organisation issues an initial ruling on US subsidies.
The much-awaited ruling on the tit-for-tat dispute comes a year after the WTO issued a similar confidential interim ruling which rapped Brussels for illegally providing subsidies to Airbus, the maker of the A-380 super jumbos.
Diplomatic sources said that the WTO's decision on the case brought by Brussels against aid provided by Washington to Boeing is likely to bring a balance to the bitter dispute.
“This report should rebalance the situation,” said a diplomat, who declined to be named.—AFP