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Asian stocks struggle to advance, Japan gains

Associated Press Modified: November 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm •  Published: November 15, 2012
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But Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index jumped 1.9 percent to 8,998.76, rallying for a second straight day on expectations that the opposition Liberal Democratic Party may win elections next month and pursue more aggressive stimulus policies than the current leadership.

LDP leader Shinzo Abe has said he is determined to push for such policies and to find ways to weaken the yen, whose strength against other currencies has hammered exporters.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 0.2 percent to 12,542.38. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.2 percent to 1,353.33. The Nasdaq composite index lost 0.4 percent to 2,836.94.

Benchmark oil for December delivery was up 4 cents to $85.49 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 87 cents to close at $85.45 a barrel in New York on Thursday.

In currencies, the dollar weakened to 81.06 yen from 81.21 yen late Thursday in New York. The euro was unchanged at $1.2773.

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