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Nikkei up after Japan gets nod from G7 on stimulus

Monday - 5/13/2013, 6:54am  ET

A man is reflected on the electronic board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday, May 13, 2013. Japan's stock market jumped Monday after global finance leaders gave a seal of approval to the country's stimulus program and refrained from criticizing its weakening effect on the yen. Stocks were mixed elsewhere in Asia. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

PAMELA SAMPSON
AP Business Writer

BANGKOK (AP) -- Japan's stock market jumped Monday to its highest close in more than five years after global finance leaders gave a seal of approval to the country's stimulus program and refrained from criticizing its weakening effect on the yen.

Stocks elsewhere, however, were mostly lower. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent to 6,609.78. Germany's DAX lost 0.6 percent and France's CAC-40 shed 0.4 percent to 3,937.98. Wall Street also appeared headed for losses. Dow Jones industrial futures were down 0.3 percent to 15,021. S&P 500 futures declined 0.4 percent to 1,623.50.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo rose 1.2 percent to close at 14,782.21, its highest close since December 2007. The index has soared more than 42 percent since the beginning of the year.

Finance leaders from the world's seven leading industrialized economies said at a meeting over the weekend in Britain that Japan's stimulus policies are aimed at boosting the domestic economy, which has been mired in stagnation since the 1990s, and not manipulating the yen.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, elected late last year on promises to revive the world's third-largest economy, has implemented a policy mix of increased public spending and aggressive monetary easing.

One result has been a dramatic fall in the yen, which helps the country's export industries by making products more affordable in overseas markets and increasing the value of repatriated earnings. On Thursday, the dollar rose above 100 yen for the first time in more than four years.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent to 5,210.30 and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2 percent to 1,948.70.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.4 percent to 22,989.81. Mainland Chinese shares were mixed as government data showed a slightly smaller-than-expected increase in industrial production. Output rose 9.3 percent year-on-year in April. Analysts were expecting at least a 9.4 percent increase.

"Today's data releases suggest that domestic demand remains weak despite a strong expansion in credit in recent months," said analysts at Capital Economics in an email commentary.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent to 2,241.92. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index rose 0.3 percent to 974.20.

Commodities such as gold and oil fell Friday as the U.S. dollar continues to appreciate against the yen and other currencies. When the dollar rises against other currencies, it tends to weaken demand for commodities, hurting resource-related shares.

Hong Kong-listed Zijin Mining Group, China's largest gold miner, fell 2.6 percent. Japanese energy explorer Inpex Corp. tumbled 7.4 percent.

Benchmark oil for June delivery was down 87 cents to $95.17 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 35 cents to $96.04 per barrel in Nymex trading on Friday in New York.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.2968 from $1.2983 late Friday in New York. The dollar rose to 101.64 yen from 101.53 yen.

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Follow Pamela Sampson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pamelasampson


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