Nikkei hit 7-year high

<p>The Nikkei was up today on speculation of a sales tax delay.</p>

The Nikkei was up one per cent today (November 13th) to 17,392.79 – the highest closing level since June 2007 – helped by ongoing rumours of a delayed sales tax. 

Investors are awaiting a November 17th report on Japan’s third-quarter economic growth, which will help the Japanese government decide on another sales-tax increase next year.

The country also reported a surprise rise in machinery orders in October, which investors considered as a sign of growing investment.

Orders rose by 2.9 per cent as compared to the previous month (excluding shipbuilding and electricity), although analysts expected a decline.

In Japan, "capital spending should start to recover soon," Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a report seen by AP. With the Shoko Chukin survey showing capacity usage at small firms at their highest since 2009, he said, "this measure points to a solid expansion in spending on machinery and equipment." 

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