The iShares MSCI Japan Small Cap Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, as represented by the MSCI Japan Small Cap Index.
See more details on sponsor's website
The Nikkei hit its highest level in almost six years, rising 1.8% to 15,727 as the yen continued to fall vs the dollar following U.S. economic data overnight, including surprisingly strong weekly jobless data.
At the close of Tokyo trading, the USD-JPY was at ¥102.08, well above Wednesday's corresponding level of ¥101.53. The yen is now at ¥102.19.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong -0.2%, China +0.8%, India +0.7%.
European shares and U.S. stock futures are mostly lower as investors start to get more than a tad concerned that the government shutdown in America might drag on longer than expected. Markets are also focusing on an ECB policy meeting later, when the bank is expected to leave interest rates at 0.5%.
Japanese shares dropped 2.3% as the yen rose against the dollar, and investors analyzed the government's sales-tax increase and stimulus package.
Stocks rose elsewhere in Asia, though, helped by a strong ISM manufacturing report in the U.S.
Hong Kong +0.6%.
EU Stoxx 50 -0.3%, London -0.9%, Paris -0.7%, Frankfurt -0.6%, Milan +0.9%, Madrid -0.1%.
U.S. stock futures: Dow -0.5%. S&P -0.7%. Nasdaq -0.5%
S&P 500 (SPY) futures -0.8% on mounting concerns of a partial U.S. government shutdown after the House voted to tie federal government funding to a halt on key provisions of Obamacare. Adding to worries is what may be the imminent collapse of the Italian government.
DJIA (DIA) futures -0.7%, Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) -0.6%, Russell 2000 (IWM) -0.9%. Italian FTSE MIB futures (EWI) -1.2%.
Japan's Nikkei is off 2% in the early going and Australia's ASX 200 is down 1%.
Gold's little-changed and WTI crude oil is down 1.1% to $101.72.
Japan final Q2 GDP: +3.8% versus +3.7% expected and +2.6% preliminary.
As tipped by JPMorgan and UBS last week, the improved GDP number was fueled by a more upbeat read on capital expenditures, which were revised up to +1.3% for the period from an initial reading of -0.1%.
Japan overnight had its biggest gain in a month, the Nikkei +3% to add to Monday's 1.4% advance. The yen has fallen sharply over the past few sessions, with the dollar buying ¥99.29 this morning vs. just ¥97 towards the end of last week. The weaker yen helped Toyota (TM +2.9% premarket) to be the Nikkei's biggest gainer. Kansai Electric soared 8.1% after an expert panel concluded an earthquake fault under the company's Ohi nuclear plant may not be active.
Corporate current profits +24%, corporate sales -0.5%.
JPMorgan and UBS say Q2 GDP may be revised up from a preliminary reading of +2.6% following the capex data, which could make the government more inclined to go through with proposed increases in sales tax. A decision is expected early next month.
A big rip in dollar/yen sends that pair above ¥100 for the first time since the start of June. The bounce in dollar/yen - which fell as low as ¥94 mid-month - comes alongside a big rebound in the Nikkei, up about 16% from the June low. FXY -0.6%, EWJ +0.9%, DXJ +1.4% premarket.