Japanese shares rise despite downbeat trade data

Japanese shares Image copyright AFP

Japanese shares headed higher despite government data showing that exports fell in October on an annual basis for the first time in more than a year.

Exports declined 2.1% from a year ago on weak demand from China, marking the first drop since August 2014.

Imports plunged by a more-than-expected 13.4%, leading the trade balance to swing to a surplus of 111.5bn yen ($902.5m; £591m).

Japan's benchmark Nikkei index closed up 1.1% at 19,859.81.

Sentiment was helped by comments from the Bank of Japan (BoJ) after it decided to keep its monetary policy unchanged.

Figures released earlier this week showed Japan's economy falling into a technical recession, but the BoJ said the economy was improving slowly.

"Emerging economies will likely emerge from the doldrums helped by solid growth in advanced economies. Exports will move sideways for the time being, but will likely recover moderately," said BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

Rate rise rally

Expectations that the US Federal Reserve was confident enough in the US economy to raise interest rates in December was driving the rally in the rest of Asia.

In China, the Shanghai Composite closed up 1.36% at 3,617.06, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended 1.4% higher at 22,500.22.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 2.1% at 5,242.60.

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index finished up 1.3% at 1,988.91 despite data that showed producer prices fell for the 15th consecutive month in October.

The producer price index declined 4.5% from a year ago, just off a revised 4.6% fall in September, which was the biggest fall on record.

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