Forexpros - Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday, amid concerns over the global economic outlook, while shares in Japan were boosted after the government intervened in currency markets to curb the yen's strength.
During late Asian trade, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 0.9%, Australia's ASX/200 Index tumbled 1.25%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged 0.23% higher.
Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda confirmed earlier that the country intervened to curb the yen's gains for the first time since March, sending the yen sharply lower against all major currencies.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan announced additional monetary easing to further bolster growth, pledging to buy more assets such as stocks and bonds.
The weaker yen helped lift shares in Japanese exporters, boosting their outlook for export earnings.
The world's largest digital camera maker Canon saw shares gain 1.5%, video game producer Nintendo saw shares add 1.85%, while shares in automakers Honda and Nissan climbed 1.2% and 1.1%.
Meanwhile, shares in Japan Steel Works jumped 3.4% after it reported net income in the quarter ended June 30 soared 94% from a year earlier to JPY5.61 billion.
In Hong Kong, shares in oil producers led losses after crude oil prices fell to a five-week low on the New York Mercantile Exchange, dampening earnings prospects for energy explorers.
Oil and gas giant PetroChina saw shares drop 2.3%, shares in China's largest offshore oil producer CNOOC tumbled 3.1%, while Sinopec shares fell 1.35%.
Shares in the financial sector were also lower, with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shares falling 1.1%, Bank of China Hong Kong down 1.3%, while Hong Kong-listed shares of European heavyweight HSBC Holdings slumped 1.4%.
The outlook for European stock markets, meanwhile, was upbeat. The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a gain of 0.9%, France's CAC 40 futures added 0.95%, the FTSE 100 futures rose 0.6%, while Germany's DAX futures advanced 0.9%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish government data on initial jobless claims, as well as a report on natural gas stockpiles.
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