Positive day for Asian markets; Aussie dollar approaches parity with US dollar

<p>Asian stocks were higher on positive offshore leads. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 1% higher in early afternoon Tokyo trading. Almost all industry groups […]</p>

Asian stocks were higher on positive offshore leads. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 1% higher in early afternoon Tokyo trading. Almost all industry groups were higher as two stocks advanced for each that fell.

In individual markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.2% despite the unemployment rate in Japan rising for the first time in three months.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index added 1% at the close, after falling as much as 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi Index advanced 2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.5%.

In regional economic news, economists are predicting a large increase in Japan’s unemployment rate which will surely see policymakers responding swiftly. The rate of unemployment to rise to 4.5% in October from 4.1% in September, exceeding analyst estimates of 4.2%. More job losses are being contemplated, particularly given the November impact of markets being sold off and the recent appreciation of the Japanese Yen against the U.S. dollar.

The USD/JPY was last trading slightly above 78.00, having hit a high of 78.27 during the session. The Australian dollar meanwhile continues to approach parity, having fallen off in early morning. The Aussie dollar was last trading at US$0.9951 cents.

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