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Japanese shares lead Asian losses



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Nikkei 225 Index

Last Updated at 23 Feb 2018, 06:45 GMT Nikkei 225 one month chart
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While most of Asia's markets rose on Thursday, Japanese shares bucked the trend after the Federal Reserve's comments sent the dollar tumbling against the yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 closed down 0.4% to 19,476.56 after hitting a 15-year intraday high of 19,557.17.

The dollar weakened after the Fed indicated that rates would rise more slowly over the next two years than it had forecast in December.

The dollar fell as low as 119.29 yen.

That marked its lowest since 27 February. But, the dollar recovered some ground to rise to 120.54 yen on the day.

A stronger yen is negative for Japanese exporters as it makes them less competitive overseas and erodes their profits when repatriated.

Shares of Nintendo, which rose over 21% on Wednesday after news of its plan to move into smartphone games, continued to rally, up nearly 12%.

Over in Mainland China, the Shanghai Composite closed 0.14% higher at 3,582.27 after rallying to hit its highest since May 2008 on Wednesday.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended 1.45% up at 24,468.89.

Australian shares led the region's gains with the S&P/ASX 200 index closing up 1.9% to 5,950.8.

The benchmark posted its biggest percentage gain in five weeks and its highest close in two weeks.

Shares of gold miner Newcrest Mining surged 6.5% after gold prices rose to their highest level in nearly two weeks on the Fed's outlook.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed up 0.5% to 2,037.89.

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