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Asian stocks soar as yen plunges; Nikkei up 1.32%

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Investing.com - Most Asian equities climbed higher on Thursday despite a mixed China beige book reading. A weaker Japanese yen was seen as one catalyst lifting Asian stocks today.

In Asian trading Thursday, Japan's Nikkei 225 soared 1.32% after newly elected prime minister Shinzo Abe intensified his weak yen rhetoric. Abe made weaker yen rhetoric a cornerstone of his campaign and some traders believe that with his Liberal Democratic Party sweeping to a convincing majority in Japan's lower house of parliament in the most recent Japanese elections that Abe has the mandate needed to force the Bank of Japan to engage in unlimited monetary easing.

For his part, Abe has not been shy about threatening to revoke a Japanese law guaranteeing the Bank of Japan's independence and replacing BoJ governor's if they do not align easing and inflation targets with Abe's. USD/JPY jumped 0.24% to 85.85.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.42% while the Shanghai Composite slid 0.12% following the China Beige Book report, which shows an uneven recovery for the world's second-largest economy. The report showed strength in China's housing, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, but new loans and exports were not as strong as some economists expected. China is a prime destination for many Australian commodities exports.

China's Beige Book report is modeled after the Federal Reserve survey by the same name.

The rise in Asian shares came even as hopes for fiscal cliff solution wane. President Obama is scheduled to return to Washington, D.C. later today after cutting his Christmas holiday in Hawaii short. The U.S. House and Senate are also scheduled to come back into session in a bid to find a last-minute solution to the fiscal cliff.

Just the fact that policymakers are making one last-ditch effort to solve the cliff may give a lift to riskier assets over the next few days.

Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.26% while Singapore's Straits Times Index climbed 0.15%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2% after starting the day in the red. New Zealand's NZSE 50 rose 0.19%.

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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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