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Asian Stocks Mixed, Japan Rises Amid BOJ Talk

Asian shares were mixed, with Japanese stocks rising on a weaker yen.

The yen dropped amid speculation that the Bank of Japan may expand its already massive stimulus. According to officials briefed on the process, the bank is looking to go beyond its $70 billion-a-month bond-buying program, Reuters reports. Options include major purchases of stock-market-linked funds or other assets riskier than Japanese government bonds, the insiders reportedly said.

Meanwhile, China's non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 56 last month from 56.3 in October, according to the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Investors also continued to worry about oversupply of new shares ahead of an upcoming restart of China's initial public offering market. The local securities regulator on Saturday released guidelines for a revamp of the country's IPO system, which could mean the end to a 13-month hiatus in domestic listings.

Australia's retail sales increased 0.5% in October from the previous month, beating economists estimates. Its Q3 current-account deficit widened more than forecast.

The Reserve Bank of Australia kept rates at a record low, as expected.

Although the broader market in Hong Kong slipped, casino stocks rose after government data showed gambling revenue in Macau climbed 21.3% in November compared with the year-earlier period.

Rio Tinto ( RIO ) will cut its capital expenditure budget to US$8 billion in 2015 from around US$14 billion this year and US$11 billion in 2014, the CEO said.

The Nikkei ended up 0.6% at 15,749.66, the Hang Seng down 0.53% at 23,910.47 and Shanghai up 0.69% at 2,222.67.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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