Japan Leads Asian Equities Higher

Asian stocks rose, with Japan’s benchmark index climbing toward a seven-year high, after the yen weakened and automakers posted better-than-estimated U.S. car sales. Australia’s dollar slid to a four-year low after economic growth unexpectedly slowed and crude oil advanced.

The Topix added 0.6 percent by 11:39 a.m. in Tokyo, rising for a second day as Toyota Motor Corp. climbed 1.3 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures rose 0.1 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index headed for its biggest two-day gain in 16 months. South Korea’s won fell 0.6 percent after Japan’s yen slipped to a seven-year low. The Aussie weakened to its lowest level since July 2010 as local bonds rallied. West Texas Intermediate oil rose for the second time in seven days.

The yen’s 15 percent retreat versus the dollar since June 30, spurred by the Bank of Japan’s record stimulus as the Federal Reserve wound up its bond buying, has helped boost the competitiveness of the country’s exports. Gauges of Chinese services rose, with similar data for Japan and Europe also due before a private U.S. jobs report. Australia’s economy grew at less than half the pace predicted by economists in the third quarter, slowing to 0.3 percent from the previous period.


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