(AP) Japan's stock market jumped Monday after global finance leaders gave a seal of approval to the country's stimulus program and refrained from criticizing its weakening effect on the yen. Stocks were mixed elsewhere in Asia.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo rose 1.1 percent to 14,765.29. The index has soared nearly 43 percent since the beginning of the year.
Finance leaders from the world's seven leading industrialized economies said at a meeting over the weekend in Britain that Japan's stimulus policies are aimed at boosting the domestic economy, which has been mired in stagnation since the 1990s, and not manipulating the yen.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, elected late last year on promises to revive the world's third-largest economy, has implemented a policy mix of increased public spending and aggressive monetary easing.
One result has been a dramatic fall in the value of the yen, which helps the country's export industries by making products more affordable in overseas markets while increasing the value of repatriated profits. On Thursday, the dollar rose above 100 yen for the first time in more than four years.
Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi was nearly unchanged at 1,945.52. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.1 percent to 23,071.67. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.2 percent to 5,196.10 after banking shares slid. Westpac Banking Corp. fell 3.8 percent and Macquarie Group shed 1.9 percent after both companies went ex-dividend.
Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia said some investors were sticking to the sidelines ahead of the release later in the day of data on fixed asset investment, including property development, in China. Expectations are for a 21.1 percent year-on-year increase; anything beyond raises the possibility of monetary tightening in the minds of analysts, Lucas said.
"A lot of people are talking about the possibility that China's central government may look to tighten to slow the economy down again," he said. China was also to report on industrial output and retail sales.
Commodities such as gold and oil fell Friday as the U.S. dollar continues to appreciate against the yen and other currencies. When the dollar rises against other currencies, it tends to weaken demand for commodities, hurting resource-related shares.
Hong Kong-listed Zijin Mining Group, China's largest gold miner, fell 2.2 percent. Japanese energy explorer Inpex Corp. tumbled 6.1 percent.
On Wall Street on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2 percent to close at 15,118.49. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 0.4 percent to 1,633.70. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.8 percent to 3,436.58.
Benchmark oil for June delivery was down 90 cents to $95.14 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 35 cents to $96.04 per barrel in Nymex trading on Friday in New York.
In currencies, the euro fell to $1.2975 from $1.2983 late Friday in New York. The dollar rose to 101.66 yen from 101.53 yen.
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