Japan (BBN)-It was a mixed start for Asian shares following news of a snap election in Japan and the delay of a proposed sales tax increase.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 was 0.3% higher at 17,398.80, adding to the previous session’s 2% gain, reports BBC.

As widely expected, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called an early election, two years ahead of schedule after the markets closed on Tuesday.

The dollar traded at 116.87 yen, after rising as much as 117.065 overnight.

That was its highest level since October 2007.

Shares in auto parts maker Takata fell as much as 7.5% to a five and a half year low after US regulators called to expand its air bag recall across the country.

In Hong Kong shares were down 0.3% with the Hang Seng index at 23,529.17.

Shanghai’s Composite index was also lower, down 0.2% at 2,452.15.


In Australia, shares were lower, marking three consecutive days of declines.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.3% at 5,383.70 with shares of Fortescue Metals falling over 6% to a five-year low.

Australia’s third-largest iron ore miner came under pressure after iron ore prices slipped to five-year lows due to oversupply and a slowing of Chinese demand.

South Korean shares were down 0.3% at 1,961.86 after ending a three-day losing streak on Tuesday.

Economic data showed that in October producer prices fell for a third consecutive month as lower energy prices dented domestic demand.

The producer price index fell 0.7% from a year earlier- the biggest annual decline since February’s 0.9% fall.

BBN/JF-19Nov14-12:10pm (BST)