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Japan's Nikkei soars to 4-year highs on BoJ Shirakawa's resignation, Asia mostly higher

Asian markets closed mostly higher on Wednesday, although two of the major equity indexes – China's Shanghai Composite (-0.09%) and South Korea's Kospi (-0.10%) edged lower. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average stole the show, with a +3.77% move to 11,463, marking its biggest one-day gain since the post-quake volatile trade in March 2011 and reaching its October-2008 high. Key for the move was BoJ Governor Shirakawa's early resignation. “The big sell off in the yen has pushed the Nikkei up by 4% today despite renewed tensions with China over a maritime incident surrounding the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands”, wrote TD Securities analysts.

Futures for the German DAX 30 and the French CAC 40 are signaling a higher opening by +0.17% ahead of a mostly empty economic calendar, with German Factory Orders data, though.

Forex: EUR/USD grinding lower, around 1.3560/65

The single currency is retracing yesterday’s gains in the area around 1.3570 on Wednesday, ahead of German Factory Orders due later. Prior surveys expect the headline to contract 1.2% in a year to December...
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Forex: GBP/USD keeps bearish around 1.5650

The sterling is prolonging its congestion pattern in the region of 1.5650 on Wednesday, ahead of the Halifax House Prices in the UK due later. Estimates are calling a contraction of 0.2% on a monthly basis...
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