Asian Markets End Mixed as Hopes of Monetary Easing in Japan Rise

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By Prasanth Aby Thomas | November 16, 2012 9:10 PM EST

A passerby looks at rising indexes from three major European markets, outside a bank in Hong Kong (Reuters)

Asian markets have ended on a mixed note with Japanese traders remaining upbeat on the yen's recent losses against the dollar and hopes of monetary easing measures.

The Nikkei climbed 2.20 percent or 194.44 points to 9024.16 while South Korea's KOSPI fell 0.53 percent or 9.89 points to1860.83.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.24 percent or 50.08 points to21159.01. China's Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.77 percent or 15.56 points to 2014.72.

India's Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex traded 0.47 percent or 86.29 points higher to 18,557.66 at 09:04 GMT.    

Investors in Tokyo remained positive following reports that Japan will hold snap elections on December 16. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has dissolved the lower house of parliament.

The elections are likely to end his party's term at office as opposition leader Shinzo Abe, who supports further monetary easing measures, is widely expected to come to power.  Abe had called for unlimited monetary aid to push inflation levels up to 2-3 percent. Deflation remains a major concern for the Japanese economy, which has been hit by falling global demand.

The US markets had ended lower earlier as sentiments remained cautious on the US "fiscal cliff". President Barack Obama is expected to meet Democratic and Republican heads later in the day in a bid to reach a consensus on the $600 bn spending cuts and tax hikes feared to pull the country into recession.

Major Movers

The yen's weak run against the US dollar prompted traders to buy into exporter stocks. Shares of electronics firm Pioneer were up 8.19 percent while those of Nikon and Sharp gained 7.23 and 6.55 percent.

Hopes of possible infrastructure spending if Shinzo Abe comes to power pushed industrial stocks higher. Shares of Daikin Industries were up 7.80 percent while Sumitomo Heavy Industries gained 6.79 percent.

Japanese automobiles too gained. Mazda was up 7.08 percent. Honda and Nissan gained 5.11 and 5.13 percent respectively.

Chinese telecommunication firms gained in Hong Kong. Shares of China Unicorn Hong Kong and China Mobile ended 2.87 and 0.89 percent higher.

Metal shares dropped in Shanghai. Shares of Aluminum Corp of China were down 0.83 percent while those of Jiangxi Copper and Baoshan Iron and Steel Company ended 1.17 and 0.22 percent lower.

IT major Infosys and mobile carrier Bharti Airtel were the major gainers in India, up 3.96 and 3.81 percent.

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