The sky's the limit for Hong Kong real estate stocks, Japanese carmakers climb as yen inches lower

Shares in Asia were mixed Thursday. In Japan, the Nikkei Index gained 3.8% closing at 9,978, and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index gained 1.2%, ending the day at 22,554. Meanwhile in China, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2% to 3,265 -- its first decline in four days.

Japanese investors rejoiced as the yen sank to its lowest value against the dollar in five days, sending stock prices higher. Shares in Japanese car companies made huge gains today. Toyota (TM) and Honda (HMC) both earn more than 50% of their profits in overseas markets and a weaker yen means they receive more money when converting cash into their home currency. Toyota surged 5.6% and Honda climbed 4.2%. Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF) catapulted 12.6% higher after an announcement that it is in discussions with Paris-based Peugeot Citroen to form a partnership that would include manufacturing electric cars.

Other Japanese companies reliant on U.S. consumers' purchasing power also escalated today. Sony told Reuters that holiday sales for PlayStation 3 and other electronic products were solid, and reminded reporters that the electronics company is venturing into rechargeable batteries for cars. Sony's (SNE) stock rocketed up 6%, leaving its competitor in the game console world, Nintendo, in the dust. Nintendo (NTDOY), maker of the Wii fell 0.3% in today's trading as reports of unimpressive Thanksgiving sales circulated. Shoppers bought about 550,000 Wii consoles during thanksgiving week -- a far cry from the 800,000 the company expected to fly off the shelves, according to

Camera maker Canon (CAJ) soared 5.4%. The company gets around 80% of its revenue from abroad, according to Bloomberg, and this season high-ticket items seem to be on sale everywhere. One camera-enthusiast web site proclaims, "So many holiday sales!! I need help buying!"

In Hong Kong shares in real estate companies surged as developers announced predictions that prices in the territory will continue to rise next year. Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau-Kee says he plans to spend $1.3 billion purchasing new property in the next few months, according to several reports. This comes on the tails of the sale of the world's most expensive apartment at 39 Conduit Road, which is owned by Henderson Land and threats by the government to reign in property speculators. Shares in Henderson Land (HLDVF) jumped 6% today, while shares in Hang Lung Properties (HLPPY) advanced 2.9%. Newcomers to the exchange also posted gains today. Luxury developer Evergrande added 2.4% and Fantasia Holdings gained 1.4%.

In China it was a different story. Property developers slid after making huge gains earlier in the week. Poly Real Estate fell 2.2%, Gemdale dropped 2% and China Vanke (CVKEF) lost 1.5%. But a positive word from the Chinese leaders promising to continue to prop up the country's property market, could easily bring investors back for more.
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