In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was higher by 0.69%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng add 0.05% while the Shanghai Composite jumped 0.33%.
In Japanese economic news, the government reported that consumer prices excluding fresh food, fell 0.1% in November. That number was inline with what economists expected, but it also spurred speculation that Prime Minister Abe could prove successful in forcing the Bank of Japan to alter its inflation target.
Another government reported showed Japan’s industrial output slid 1.7% in November to the lowest since 2011 natural disasters that ravaged the country. The slump in industrial production could be another sign that Abe will be able to force BoJ to engage in unlimited monetary easing.
The ensuing easing speculation sent the Nikkei to a 21-month high and the yen to lowest levels against the U.S. dollar since August 2010. The Japanese currency also fell to its lowest levels against the euro since July 2011.
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.31% after the Korea National Statistical Office said that South Korean industrial production rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.3%, from 0.6% in the preceding month. Analysts had expected South Korean industrial production to rise 0.7% last month.
In other South Korean economic news, the Korea National Statistical Office said that South Korean Retail Sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.3%, from -0.9% in the preceding month whose figure was revised down from -0.8%. Analysts had expected South Korean Retail Sales to rise 0.3% last month.
Today is the final trading day of 2012 for stocks in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 0.5% while New Zealand’s NZSE 50 added 0.38%.