Japanese Stock Market Hits Another Record High

Leading Japanese shares hit another seven-year high on Wednesday, adding to the big gains made this week.

The Nikkei closed up 0.4% at 17,197.05 on news that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might call a snap election and postpone plans to increase the sales tax from the current 8% to 10%.

That marked the highest close since October 2007.

Retailers outperformed, on hopes of a potential delay to the hike in sales tax, which could affect revenues.

Shares in J Front Retailing rose 3%, while Takashimaya climbed 2.9%.

The yen, which had fallen to a seven-year low of 116.11 yen to the dollar on Tuesday, strengthened slightly against the US currency to 115.37 yen.

In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index closed up 0.55% at 23,938.18, while the Shanghai Composite in China finished 1% higher at 2,494.48.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1% to a two-week low of 5,463, despite a survey showing that consumer sentiment rose for a second month in November.

via BBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency
trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza