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Asia stock markets mixed, Japan's Nikkei jumps

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm •  Published: January 24, 2013

BANGKOK (AP) — Japan's benchmark stock index jumped Friday as the yen continued to retreat against the dollar and investors cheered the new government's plans to boost the economy. Other Asian stock markets were mixed.

Evan Lucas of IG Markets in Melbourne said he expect to see further surges in Japan's Nikkei 225 index after Yasutoshi Nishimura, a senior vice minister of the Japanese government's Cabinet Office, commented that the yen would fall further. The Nikkei rose 2.1 percent to 10,846.73.

A weaker yen helps Japanese exporters by making products sold abroad less expensive and also helps some of the country's trading partners by increasing demand for the raw materials they ship to Japan, Lucas said.

The recent decline in the yen's value against the dollar and drops against other major currencies have been driven by expectations that Japan's central bank will try to engineer inflation by increasing the amount of money in circulation.

The bank has been under pressure from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office a month ago, to do more to end Japan's prolonged spell of falling prices known as deflation. The ultimate aim is to create a recovery for Japan's moribund economy.

South Korea's Kospi fell amid fears that the country's exporters could be slammed by Japan's dropping yen, which makes Japanese products less expensive overseas. The benchmark fell 1.1 percent to 1,941.79.

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