Asia stocks rise as G-20 vows to avoid currency war

Asia stocks rise as G-20 vows to avoid currency war

Tokyo: Most Asian stock markets rose on Monday after a weekend meeting of global finance chiefs vowed to avoid a currency war that could derail the global economic recovery.

But Japanese shares bucked the trend amid figures showing that export growth continues to slow and as the dollar fell against the yen suggesting more than rhetoric is needed to resolve currency tensions besetting export-reliant countries.

The two-day meeting of finance mandarins from the Group of 20 major advanced and emerging nations resolved to avoid weakening currencies to boost exports _ a scenario that could cause a trade war. The group’s statement, however, fell short of imposing any measurable targets

Nations in Asia and other regions have been trying to stem strength in their currencies amid sustained weakness in the US dollar out of fear their exports will become less competitive. At the same time, China’s currency, the yuan, has been effectively pegged to the greenback, provoking criticism it is being kept artificially low and giving the country’s exporters an unfair advantage.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index was flat at 9,427.04 amid news the country’s exports grew at their slowest pace this year in September, hit by cooling foreign demand and a strong yen.

Exporters were lower, pressured by a rising yen, which cuts the value of profits they bring home. The dollar fell to ¥81.06 in Tokyo from ¥81.50 in New York late Friday.

Toyota Motor Corp. lost 1.1% and Sony Corp. dropped 1.4%. Honda Motor Co. declined 1.0%.

“Investors were not impressed by the G-20. The meeting did not result in concrete policy initiatives," said Masatoshi Sato, market analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities Co. Ltd. in Tokyo.

South Korea’s Kospi added 0.9% to 1,914.25 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.9% to 23,732.46.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 1.5% to 4,716.00 amid news the Singapore Exchange is making a $8.3 billion takeover offer for the operator of the Australian stock market. Shares in ASX, the bourse operator, surged more than 20%.

Elsewhere, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.3% to 3,014.03. Markets in Singapore, Taiwan and India also rose.

In New York on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 14.01 points, or 0.1%, to 11,132.56.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.4032 from $1.3952.

Benchmark crude for December delivery rose 79 cents to $82.48 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.