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Tokyo leads Asian markets lower as yen soars

Asian markets mostly lower
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December 08, 2023 (MLN): Most Asian markets ended lower on Thursday, with Tokyo's stock index taking by far the biggest fall among major indices, closing down 2% as the yen surged against the dollar, as APP reported.

The yen strengthened more than 2% against the dollar on speculation the Bank of Japan (BoJ) could announce a shift away from its ultra-loose monetary policy at a meeting this month.

To note, this makes Japanese exports more expensive.

The Japanese currency has tumbled for much of the year owing to the BoJ's refusal to budge, but officials are shifting their positions as inflation rises.

Attention also focused on a looming US jobs report due Friday, with the idea it would confirm a gentle slowdown in the economy that could allow the US Federal Reserve to cut interest rates early next year.

US stocks rebounded behind strong gains in tech shares ahead of key US jobs data, while the yen surged against the dollar, weighing on Japanese shares.

Artificial intelligence players Google and AMD both bounced following fresh announcements that underscored the market's appetite for the technology.

AMD surged nearly 10% after presenting its newest chip, the MI300, which is being positioned as a rival to a much-praised Nvidia product.

Google parent Alphabet won 5.3% as it demonstrated its new Gemini artificial intelligence model that the company said could outperform human experts in several areas of problem-solving, math, physics, history, law, medicine, and ethics.

"This is incredible momentum, and yet, we're only beginning to scratch the surface of what's possible," Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a statement.

"This new era of models represents one of the biggest science and engineering efforts we've undertaken as a company."

The Nasdaq led major US indices, gaining 1.4%.

After global equities rallied in November on optimism that the Fed was done with its rate-hike cycle, markets have pulled back on concerns the buying was overdone.

Data released this week on US job openings and from the private payroll firm ADP reinforced the view that the labor market and economy were slowing as inflation comes down. Jobless benefits claims data held steady.

"The slowdown in hiring continues and is becoming more obvious," said Peter Boockvar, author of the Boock Report.

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Posted on: 2023-12-08T09:43:35+05:00