By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch , Colin Ng and Wei-Zhe Tan
Rare-earths developer Lynas Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205455937/delayed LYSDY +0.30% /zigman2/quotes/202074955/delayed AU:LYC +2.07% jumped 11% to A$1.79 after China on Tuesday lowered its export quota for rare earths in the first half of 2011 by 35% compared with the same period this year.
Japanese stocks were up in light volume, though exporters were still weighed by the yen’s recent strength.
In Tokyo, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone /zigman2/quotes/200718273/delayed JP:9432 +0.68% slipped 0.7% after the Nikkei reported that the company plans to lower prices on its fiber-optic broadband service by up to 40% next year.
Takaoka Electric jumped 18% on a Yomiuri Shimbun report that the U.S. government will use Japan’s quick- charging system in its electric-vehicle-operation tests. Takaoka, a power-station-equipment maker affiliated with Tokyo Electric Power, supplies chargers for electric vehicles in Japan.
Hitachi /zigman2/quotes/203839937/delayed JP:6501 -0.13% added 2.4% after the company’s president said it would likely sign a contract for a U.K. high-speed-railway project, as early as at the start of 2011.
Gains in Seoul came as investors remained optimistic about the prospects for 2011.
“The bourse is likely to end the year around the current level, after experiencing a few more ups and downs in very light trade,” said KTB Investment & Securities analyst Park Seok-hyun.
Shinsegae climbed 4.6% after the department-store operator said it was considering a bonus issue. If approved by its board, shareholders will get two shares for each share they own.
Elsewhere in the region, Taiwan’s Taiex and New Zealand’s NZX 50 slipped 0.1% each, while Philippine stocks finished 0.9% higher. In afternoon trade, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was up 0.8%, Indonesian shares gained 0.9% and Thailand’s SET advanced 0.7%.
In foreign-exchange markets, the euro was at $1.3121 compared with $1.3117 in late New York trade and at 107.84 yen against 108.14 yen. The dollar was at 82.18 yen compared with 82.42 yen.
Satoshi Tate, a senior dealer at Mizuho Corporate Bank, said a weak response to the sale of five-year U.S. Treasury notes and the resulting rise in yields triggered “the last round of dollar-buying” this year. He added that current levels “don’t look very solid” and the euro may fall to $1.2980 later in the global day.
Lead March Japanese government bond futures were down 0.16 at 140.05 points, dragged by weakness in U.S. Treasurys Tuesday. The 10-year cash JGB yield was up 3 basis points at 1.160%.