Nikkei up 0.6% as unemployment in Japan fall to six year low

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Investing.com - Japan's Nikkei rose on Friday after Japan's unemployment rate fell to six year low in December and most other Asian markets remained closed for Chinese lunar holiday.

Japan's Statistics Bureau reported on Friday that country's unemployment rate in December fell to 3.7%, its lowest level in six years. This was against the expectation of 3.9% and November figure of 4%. Also Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported that Japan's industrial production in December rose by 1.1% against the expected rise of 1.2% and previous fall of 0.1%. Japan's core consumer price index however remained unchanged at 0.7% as per expectation.

Australia's S&P/ASX fluctuated between small gains and losses as the country's Bureau of Statistics reported that fourth quarter Producer Price Index rose 0.2% against the expectation of 0.9% and private sector credit for December rose 0.5% against the expected rise of 0.4%. The credit grew by 0.3% in November.


Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.61% while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.03%.

On Thursday, Wall Street rallied after solid U.S. economic growth data coupled with better-than-expected earnings sparked demand for equities.

Solid earnings from social networking icon Facebook and credit-card company Visa, among others, sent broader indices gaining on Thursday as did reports that Google is selling its Motorola mobile phone unit to Lenovo for USD2.91 billion.

Solid U.S. growth rates sent prices climbing as well.

The dollar rallied after the Commerce Department said gross domestic product expanded 3.2% in the three months to December, in line with most forecasts, even outpacing some, following a 4.1% rise in the third quarter.

Consumer spending rose by 3.3%, the strongest since the fourth quarter of 2010, which markets applauded especially, while exports grew by 11.4%.

Meanwhile, demand for U.S. equities rose among investors seeking to shuffle their money out of emerging markets.

Today the U.S. is to round up the week with a report on manufacturing activity in the Chicago region, revised data on consumer sentiment and a report on personal spending.

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