- POSTED: 27 Dec 2013 15:42
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Asian shares were mixed on Friday following another record close on Wall Street, while the yen tumbled against the euro and the dollar.
HONG KONG: Asian shares were mixed on Friday following another record close on Wall Street, while the yen tumbled against the euro and the dollar.
The yen sank further in Asia as speculation of more Bank of Japan monetary easing weighed on the unit, while upbeat US data supported the greenback.
Tokyo closed flat, edging up 4.50 points to 16,178.94, while Seoul gained 0.15 percent, or 2.98 points, to 2,002.28. Sydney also ended flat, slipping 0.06 percent, or 3.1 points, to 5,324.1.
Chinese shares climbed 1.36 percent, or 28.15 points, to 2,101.25, while Hong Kong gained 0.27 percent, or 63.69 points, to 23,243.24.
Late buying pushed Tokyo's Nikkei back into positive territory and a fresh six-year high, while a weaker yen also boosted the market.
The dollar was trading around five-year highs in Tokyo, buying 104.75 yen against 104.82 yen in New York Thursday.
The US unit briefly topped the 105 yen mark earlier Friday, its highest since October 2008.
"Yen-selling pressure appears strong. It would be no surprise to see the dollar rise to 110 yen in the January-March quarter," Yosuke Hosokawa, a dealer at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, told Dow Jones Newswires.
New data published on Friday also showed that Japan's war on deflation got a boost last month as consumer inflation rose 1.2 percent - its fastest pace in five years.
The euro also jumped past five-year highs to 144.47 yen from 143.51 yen in US trade while it fetched $1.3733 from $1.3692.
On Thursday, US stock markets continued their bull run of 2013 and positive unemployment figures offered more evidence of a firming economy.
The Dow shot up 0.75 percent to 16,479.88, finishing at a record high for the sixth straight session. The S&P 500 added 0.47 percent to 1,842.02, while the Nasdaq increased 0.28 percent to 4,167.18.
The latest record came after US Labour Department data showed first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to 338,000 from an adjusted 380,000 the previous week. Analysts had projected that 350,000 claims would be filed.
Other better-than-expected economic news in recent days has increased confidence in the US outlook after the Federal Reserve announced on December 18 it was scaling back its massive bond-buying programme.
On oil markets New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for February delivery, was up six cents at $99.61 in afternoon trade while Brent North Sea crude for February eased 24 cents to $111.74.
Gold fetched $1,211.56 at 1100 GMT compared with $1,205.50 late Thursday.
In other markets:
-- Manila gained 0.20 percent, or 11.51 points, to 5,889.83.
Ayala Land Inc. increased 0.41 percent to 24.75 pesos.
-- Taipei climbed 0.58 percent, or 49.15 points, to 8,535.04.
Hon Hai rose 0.76 percent to Tw$79.9 while TSMC was 0.48 percent higher at Tw$104.5.
-- Wellington ended flat, slipping 0.58 points to 4,767.36.
Fletcher Building dropped 2.29 percent to NZ$8.52 and Air New Zealand gained 1.54 percent to NZ$1.645.
-- Mumbai rose 0.56 percent or 118.99 points to 21,193.58 points.
Private Gintanjali Gems jumped 10.71 percent to 74.45 rupees while Apollo Hospitals rose 6.18 percent to 938.15 rupees.
-- Bangkok dropped 0.75 percent or 9.75 points to 1,298.71.
Coal producer Banpu was unchanged at 30.25 baht while energy giant PTT added 0.35 percent to 286.00 baht.
-- Jakarta ended up 0.37 percent, or 15.76 points, at 4,218.59.
Palm oil firm Sinar Mas Agro Resources jumped 15.83 percent to 6,950 rupiah, while food manufacturer Indofood Sukses Makmur slipped 0.77 percent to 6,450 rupiah.
-- Singapore closed up 0.49 percent, or 15.40 points, at 3,149.76.
United Overseas Bank rose 0.81 percent to Sg$21.16 while Singapore Airlines gained 0.88 percent to Sg$10.32.
-- Kuala Lumpur's main index surged 16.96 points, or 0.92 percent, to 1,861.06.
Tenaga Nasional ended 4.1 percent higher at 11.60 ringgit while Kuala Lumpur Kepong jumped 2.1 percent to 24.60. Guinness Achor Berhad dipped 0.9 percent to 15.86 ringgit.