Japanese Stocks Advance on Reports Abe Will Delay Hike to Sales Tax

Japanese stocks rose, led by energy explorers, metal makers and insurers, after reports that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to delay a sales-tax increase.

Oil explorer Inpex Corp. added 3.3 percent, while insurer Tokio Marine Holdings advanced 1.3 percent. Toshiba Corp. jumped 9.4 percent, the most in five years, after JP Morgan raised its rating on the electronics maker to overweight from underweight.

The Topix index added 0.5 percent to 1,349.82 at the trading break in Tokyo as about five shares advanced for every four that fell. The measure is headed for a 0.5 percent weekly gain. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 0.4 percent to 16,846.32. The yen traded at 109.94 per dollar after strengthening 0.4 percent on Thursday. A Group of Seven leaders’ summit at Ise-Shima in central Japan concludes on Friday.

Takata Corp. declined 6.1 percent, after surging to its daily limit on Thursday following reports that the embattled airbag maker is in talks with KKR & Co. about a possible takeover. Gungho Online Entertainment Inc. surged 19 percent after the online game maker unveiled plans to roll out a Chinese version of the Puzzle & Dragons mobile game.

Source: Bloomberg

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U.S. Stocks Remain Lower as Yellen Sees Risk in Rate Boost Delay

U.S. stocks remained lower after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said delaying the start of policy normalization would likely lead to “abrupt tightening” that risks disrupting financial markets and may “inadvertently push the economy into recession.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.3 percent to 2,096.28 at 12:30 p.m. in New York, after yesterday opening the month with a 1.1 percent rally to close at the highest level since Nov. 3.

Yellen’s remarks came at a speech at the Economic Club of Washington, where she said she’s increasingly confident that the economy is growing sufficiently to achieve labor-market improvement and higher inflation, laying the groundwork for a December interest-rate increase if data hold up.

Source : Bloomberg