Weaker Yen Sees Japan Shares Buck Asia Trend

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Shares in Asia most closed lower in Friday’s trading but the action in Japan was different. It seems a weaker yen (JPYUSD) lifted appetite for Japanese shares among foreign investors. Most of Asia took a cue from Wall Street overnight pullback following disappointing earnings from blue-chip companies.

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The decline in JPYUSD was attributed to news that emerged about Bank of Japan considering cutting lending rates to financial institutions.

Japan ends week on positive note

The Nikkei 225, which has posted consistent gains this week, recovered from early losses in Friday’s trading to close the day up 1.2%. The index gained 208.87 points to 17572.49.

In the currency market, USDJPY pair edged up 0.5% to 109.98.

China shares print red

In China, both the Shanghai Composite index and the smaller Hang Seng index closed lower. The Shanghai Composite was off 0.4%, thus extending its loss this week to about 4.5%. The Hang Seng index was down 0.9%, but still management to hold on to a slim weekly gain of 0.5%.

Australian stocks pull back

Shares in Australia backed the broader Asia equity trend. As such, the S&P/ASX 200 pulled back 0.69%, primarily weighed down by Materials, Resources and Metals & Mining sectors.

The advance of the Aussie against the greenback and the safe-haven yen didn’t help matters. The AUD/USD (AUDUSD) rose 0.32% to 0.7762 and AUD/JPY (AUDJPY) gained 1.13% to 85.65.

European stocks

European stocks opened lower Friday and were widely expected to follow the Asian trend – losses. Comment by ECB about possible additional easing measures is expected to hurt trading in European shares.

Oil market

Oil prices and iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return (NYSEARCA:OIL) advanced Asia trading on Friday, a sign that traders are buying into the hope that OPEC members will reopen talks to cool crude oil production to deal with the global supply glut that was damaged prices.

U.S. crude oil edged up 1.5% to $43.78 a barrel and Brent crude futures advanced 1.5% to $45.19.

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