Business

Japan shares notch ninth day of gains

Japanese shares Image copyright AFP
Image caption Japanese shares reversed earlier losses to close higher

Japanese shares ended higher for the ninth consecutive day, but gains were limited as investors worried over Greece's debt talks and potentially higher US interest rates.

Upbeat US economic data has fuelled expectations that a rate rise could come sooner, and on Wall Street the S&P 500 fell 1% on Tuesday.

Despite this, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed up 0.2% at 20,472.58.

The index is on its longest winning streak since last August.

The dollar was at 123.08 yen, rallying on the solid US economic data.

Minutes from the Bank of Japan's policy meeting also dented investor sentiment because it showed that some members felt that consumer prices in the world's third largest economy would not meet the central's bank target in the 2017 fiscal year.

Chinese markets experienced mixed fortunes. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down 0.6% at 28,081.21, while the Shanghai Composite ended up 0.6% at 4,941.71.

Investors gave a lukewarm reception to news that index provider FTSE Russell will launch two transitional indexes that include mainland listed shares - a staggered approach that will bring local Chinese shares into its global emerging markets benchmark in two to three years.

Shares in China's top shoemaker Belle International rose more than 3% in Hong Kong after it reported an 8% rise in annual profits.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.8% at 5,725.25, pulled lower by heavyweight stocks in the banking and mining sectors.

South Korean shares saw their biggest daily loss in nearly five months as investors backed off emerging markets on the prospect of rising US rates.

The Kospi closed down 1.7% at 2,107.50, its lowest close since 15 May.

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