By Laura He, MarketWatch
Reuters Enlarge Image
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japan stocks nudged higher on Thursday, with the yen weakening against the dollar, after the country’s exports jumped in October.
The Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.37% inched up 0.1%, with the yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.1460% falling to a seven-year low against the dollar. The dollar bought ¥118.66, breaking ¥118.54, its stronger point since August 2007, compared with ¥118.03 in the previous session.
The broader Topix index /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 +0.23% also drifted higher by 0.1%.
On Thursday, official data showed Japanese exports rose 9.6% in October from a year ago, beating an estimated 4.4% increase from a Wall Street Journal survey of economists.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delayed a planned tax rate hike earlier this week and called early elections, after previous data showed the economy entered a surprise contraction in the third quarter. On Wednesday, the Bank of Japan kept its stimulus program unchanged.
Among market movers, electronics maker Fujitsu Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208459594/delayed JP:6702 +0.77% climbed 4.5%, and camera maker Nikon Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203281219/delayed JP:7731 -0.30% advanced 2.5%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.06% dipped 0.1%, after HSBC’s preliminary data showed Chinese factory activity fell to its lowest level in six months in November.
Over on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.22% rose 0.1%.