Asian markets rise, yen sinks on BoJ chief reports


Asian markets rose on Monday, with Tokyo surging after the yen hit a near three-year low against the dollar, while concerns the US Federal Reserve could soon end its loose policy were eased.

Investors cheered reports that the choice of Japan’s prime minister to take over as the new head of the central bank was in favour of aggressive easing, while the pound sat around multi-year lows after Britain lost its AAA credit rating.

Also, China’s manufacturing growth hit a four-month low in February but remained positive, British banking giant HSBC said.

Tokyo surged 1.95 percent by the break, Hong Kong added 0.10 percent, Sydney was 0.72 percent higher, Shanghai gained 0.40 percent and Seoul was flat.

Japanese media said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to nominate Asian Development Bank president Haruhiko Kuroda to be the next governor of the Bank of Japan.

Abe has decided to pick Kuroda “as he backs Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bold monetary easing policies while maintaining good links with the international financial industry,” the Nikkei business daily said.

A former vice finance minister for international affairs, Kuroda is known as an advocate of aggressive monetary easing to overcome Japan’s deflation, a stance in line with Abe’s economic policy.

The cabinet plans to submit his nomination for parliamentary approval this week, the Nikkei and other newspapers said.

“There was a little euphoria because we have some clarity over the Bank of Japan and that caused the yen to sharply weaken after the opening,” Tim Waterer, senior trader at CMC Markets in Sydney, told Dow Jones Newswires.

The dollar surged to 94.77 yen in early trade, its highest since May 2010, before easing to 94.13 yen, but well up from 93.37 yen in New York late Friday.

The euro changed hands at 124.19 yen, compared with 123.18 yen on Friday, while it also sat at $1.3186 from $1.3189.