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The markets were mixed in Asia overnight. Japan’s Nikkei soared 2.09 percent to close at 11,407.90 after G20 finance ministers ostensibly gave their seal of approval to the nation’s economic recovery strategy. The Hang Seng fell 0.27 percent, while the S&P/ASX 200 increased 0.59 percent.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX advanced 0.19 percent around mid-day. London’s FTSE 100 was off 0.18 percent, while the STOXX 50 was off 0.20 percent.
The U.S. equity markets are closed on Monday in observance of President’s Day.
Here are three stories to keep an eye on:
1) Currency war may be a fiction, but tension between major economies jockeying for recovery mechanisms remains a reality. G20 finance ministers made it clear that they would not publicly interfere with the value of their currencies or engage in aggressive devaluation, and they urged Japan to do the same. Japan is pursuing bold stimulus and monetary packages aimed at reversing stagflation and spurring a long-struggling economy back to life. One of the major side effects of this has been the rapid weakening of its currency, the yen, which currently trades at 93.95 to the dollar, and 125.52 to the euro. Some nations see this rapid weakening as a threat to their own recovery efforts.
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