Japan's Nikkei leads Asian markets

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Nikkei 225 Index

Last Updated at 21 Sep 2017, 06:45 GMT Nikkei 225 twelve month chart
value change %
20347.48 +

Japan's Nikkei bounded on Tuesday as investors anticipated the announcement of a snap election and a delay to the planned sales tax rise.

The Nikkei 225 closed up 2.2% at 17,344.06, after having suffered its biggest one-day drop since August on Monday.

After the markets closed, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called an early election, two years ahead of schedule.

At a news briefing, he said he would dissolve parliament later this week.

He also said he was delaying a planned but unpopular increase in the country's sales tax.

In April this year, the sales tax was increased for the first time in 17 years, from 5% to 8%, but the move has dented consumer confidence and has had a negative impact on the economy.

Private consumption accounts for some 60% of Japan's economy.

The yen traded at 116.51 yen to the dollar after hitting a seven-year low of 117.06 on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, shares in Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down 1.1% at 23,529.17 points after data showed that average new home prices in China's 70 major cities fell 2.6% in October from a year earlier.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was closed down 0.71% at 2,456.37 points.

In Australia, shares hit a three-week low as falling iron ore prices hit mining stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.2% at 5,399.7, extending Monday's near-1% fall.

Iron ore miner BC Iron led the losers, down more than 10%, while Fortescue Metal dropped more than 6%.

South Korean shares ended a three-day losing streak by closing up 1.2%, with the Kospi at 1,967.01 points.

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