Japan Stocks Fall as Yen Strengthens After China Weakens Fixing

Japanese stocks declined as the yen strengthened against the dollar, following a slump in the yuan after China’s central bank weakened its daily reference rate for the currency by the most in two years.

Topix fell 0.3% at 1,744.85 as of morning break in Tokyo while Nikkei 225 lost 0.5% at 22,652.42. Yen at 112.45 per dollar; rose 0.4% on Thursday

The Japanese currency extended gains after strengthening 0.4 percent on Thursday following President Donald Trump’s criticism of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increase. Tech and machinery shares weighed on the Topix index as about two stocks fell for every one that rose. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index was headed for a weekly loss of 1.9 percent, extending its decline for 2018 to 16 percent.

Source: Reuters

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Japan Stocks Rise as Tech Names Advance After Overseas Earnings

Japanese stocks rose as technology companies boosted the Topix index following positive earnings from IBM and ASML Holding NV.

Topix rose 0.4% to 1,757.48 as of morning close in Tokyo; added 2.9% in previous four days while Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% to 22,863.30.

Tokyo Electron Ltd. was among the biggest boosts to the benchmark gauge alongside banks such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. The yen gained 0.1 percent to 112.74 per dollar after touching the lowest level in more than six months on Wednesday.

Source: Bloomberg

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EU, Japan Sign Massive Free Trade Deal

The European Union and Japan on Tuesday signed a “landmark” free trade deal that comes as Washington imposes new tariffs and threatens a trade war with China.

The deal signed in Tokyo by the EU’s top officials and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the biggest ever negotiated by the EU and creates a free trade zone covering nearly a third of the world’s GDP.

EU Council President Donald Tusk and Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker land in Japan after talks in Beijing, where they urged global trade cooperation and warned against trade wars.

“It is the common duty of Europe and China, but also America and Russia, not to destroy (the global trade order) but to improve it, not to start trade wars which turned into hot conflicts so often in our history,” Tusk said Monday in Beijing.

“There is still time to prevent conflict and chaos.”

The “landmark” EU-Japan deal creates a massive economic zone and stands in stark contrast to President Donald Trump’s “America First” protectionism.

Source: voanews

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