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Japanese markets rebound as yen weakens

BBC News BBC News 12/04/2016
Tokyo stock market © Getty Images Tokyo stock market

Japanese markets traded higher on Tuesday, as the recent rally in the yen tapered off.

Alco plant in Portovesme, Italy: Alcoa is one of the world's biggest producers of aluminium © Getty Images Alcoa is one of the world's biggest producers of aluminium

At the close, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 177.66 points, or 1.1%, at 15,928.79.

The Japanese yen dipped to 108.35 against the US dollar in Asian trade from 107.94 during US trade overnight.

Shares in car manufacturer Toyota closed up nearly 4% after several days of losses, while rival Nissan saw its shares rise 3.2%.

A cheaper yen makes Japanese goods cheaper and more competitive, and is generally seen as a boost for export-related companies.

Also in Japan, shares of brokerage firm Nomura surged 7.4% on reports it plans to cut jobs in US and Europe. Investors had been worried about Nomura's non-performing businesses overseas.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi closed up 0.6% at 1,981.32.

In Australia, the S&P ASX 200 index also rose, ending the day up 0.9% at 4,975.60.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng rose 0.3% to close at 20,504.44.

The Shanghai Composite index ended down 0.3% at 3,023.65 with telecommunications and property shares particularly hard hit.

US earnings

US stocks closed lower on Monday after a late sell-off erased gains made earlier in the day. Investors were preparing themselves for a slew of company results this week.

Metals company Alcoa was the first to report, and it declared a 92% drop in net income for the first quarter to $16m. Alcoa's traditional smelting business has been hurt by a slump in aluminium prices. The company also lowered its 2016 outlook for sales in the aerospace industry.

Alcoa's results were announced after the close of regular trade on Wall Street. Shares fell 5% in after-hours trading, having earlier risen in anticipation of strong results.

Later this week, investors will be looking out for earnings from America's biggest banks.

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