Stocks in Asia Gain as Currency Swing Provide Prospects

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On Friday, Asian shares increased led by Japan as investors concentrated on currency plays.

The Nikkei 225 increase 0.67% asy a weaker yen supported exporters. Nintendo plunged 4.82% to 26,250 yen, and declining more than 10.8% this week. Investors were watchful ahead of the “Super Mario Run” smartphone game release on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) ‘s iOS.

The Shanghai Composite Index increased 0.11%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up 0.12%.

The yuan drop against the greenback  for the 3rd consecutive day, reaching  the lowest level since May 2008 after the People’s Bank of China scheduled  the fixing at 6.9508 Friday.

“Chinese policymakers have been rushing to curb capital outflows and spending foreign exchange reserve to support the yuan, after the Fed raised rates and the dollar hit 14-year highs. China’s foreign exchange reserves fell more-than-expected to a six-year low of $3.05 trillion in November, “ according to the reports.

Suddenly, on Thursday, U.S. stocks were higher after the close, as gains in the Financials, Telecoms and Basic Materials sectors led stocks higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  added 0.34%, while the S&P 500 index increased 0.41%, and the NASDAQ  Composite index gained  0.36%.

On Additional News

After the close on Friday, Australia stocks were lower as losses in the Gold, Metals & Mining and Resources sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 decline 0.10%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Orocobre Ltd (AX:ORE), which increased 9.14% or 0.360 points to trade at 4.300 at the close. Meanwhile, Orora Fpo(AX:ORA)  added 6.09% or 0.170 points to end at 2.960 and Estia Health Ltd (AX:EHE)  surged 5.44% or 0.130 points to 2.520 in late trade.

The poorest performers of the session were Resolute Mining Ltd (AX:RSG), which declines 8.80% or 0.095 points to trade at 0.985 at the close. M Pharma Fp (AX: MYX) dropped  8.77% or 0.125 points to end at 1.300 and Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (AX:SAR) declined  8.00% or 0.070 points to 0.805.

Declining stocks outnumbered progressing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 553 to 453 and 338 ended unmoved.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which gauges the suggested volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, declined  6.10% to 11.272 a new 52-week low.

Delivery of gold for February increased 0.19% or 2.15 to $1131.95 a troy ounce. Somewhere else in commodities trading, delivery of crude oil for January increased 0.59% or 0.30 to hit $51.20 a barrel, while the February Brent oil deal increase 0.46% or 0.25 to trade at $54.27 a barrel.

AUD/USD was unaffected 0.00% to 0.7358, while AUD/JPY increase 0.01% to 86.98.

The US Dollar Index declined 0.05% at 103.10.

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