Asian markets rise amid Japan optimism

BEIJING (AP) — Asian markets have risen amid optimism that Japan's new leaders will stimulate its sluggish economy.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.3 percent on Thursday to 10,368.5, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.6 percent to 22,677.7. Shanghai and Taipei both added 0.2 percent.

In Japan, investors are expecting incoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take new measures to boost economic growth. Abe wants to restrain the strength of the yen and change the central bank's inflation target to drag Japan out of its two-decade-old spiral of deflation that has deadened economic activity.

Australia's IG Markets said in a report: "The message from Japan is clear at the moment, the incoming government will do everything in its power to weaken the yen and stimulate the economy."

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