Thu, Feb 14, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Yen climbs as policymakers express worry

Bloomberg

The Japanese yen climbed for a second day as Bank of Japan policymakers meet and after a G7 official expressed concern about the currency’s slump. Australia’s stocks and dollar rose as European futures fell.

The yen increased 0.4 percent to 93.07 per dollar. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index ended at the highest in almost three years and the currency climbed for a second day.

The yen rallied after an unidentified G7 official said Japan will be discussed at a G20 meeting amid concern the currency’s moves had been excessive. The Bank of Japan policy meeting ends today.

Australian shares and the Australian dollar rose after consumer confidence surged the most since September 2011.

“The market was roiled by conflicting interpretations of the G7 statement,” said Noriaki Murao, managing director of the marketing group at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd in New York. “We can easily expect some criticisms about Japan’s monetary policy at the G20 and the market remains cautious. The yen is likely to be whipsawed by statements from the US.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s largest lender, climbed 2.4 percent as retail banking and wealth management boosted first-half profit.

Of the 304 companies on the MSCI Asia Pacific index that reported earnings this quarter and for which Bloomberg has estimates, 52 percent exceeded profit expectations and some 48 percent missed them. That compares with 74 percent of S&P 500 companies that topped profit forecasts, while 25 percent fell short, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Tata Motors Ltd advanced 2.7 percent, leading gains in the BSE India Sensitive Index, after unit Jaguar Land Rover reported last month’s sales increased 32 percent.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the G20, which includes the G7 and emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India, meet in Moscow from tomorrow until Saturday.

In his first State of the Union address since winning re-election, Obama called for a higher minimum wage to boost the US economy, vowed to begin talks on a trade agreement with the EU and spend US$50 billion on “urgent” infrastructure projects.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average retreated 1 percent as exporters dropped on concern a stronger yen will cut overseas earnings when repatriated. Gree Inc slumped 15 percent after reducing its outlook on delays to new social-networking games.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 1 percent, while the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index gained 0.6 percent as the markets reopened after the Lunar New Year holiday. Those in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam remain shut.

South Korea’s Kospi Index climbed 1.6 percent, the biggest gain since Jan. 2, as South Korean Vice Minister of Finance Shin Je-yoon said North Korea’s nuclear test had a “limited” effect on markets.

The won rose 0.4 percent as speculation the G20 will discuss the yen’s slump eased concern South Korea’s policymakers will move to weaken its currency to protect exporters. The Bank of Korea is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at its monetary policy meeting today.

The Japanese currency added 0.5 percent against the euro to ¥125.09 as the European currency slipped versus the dollar.

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